Clause 102 - Agreement about modifying decommissioning programme

Part of Energy Bill [Lords] – in a Public Bill Committee at 10:45 am on 21st June 2011.

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Photo of Ian Lavery Ian Lavery Labour, Wansbeck 10:45 am, 21st June 2011

There are a lot of problems with nuclear energy and not a lot of confidence that the decommissioning costs will not be borne by the taxpayer. When the provision is brought back, will the Minister ensure that there is clear and concise information on who will bear any financial costs arising from unforeseen events? There is a great fear that the Bills being pushed through Parliament and the view being taken of future energy requirements are hugely weighted in favour of nuclear power, in terms of the carbon floor price, the EU emissions trading scheme and the emissions performance standards. There are huge concerns among the general public about the direction we are taking.

Will the new clause tabled on Report set out in detail what will be or could be classified as unforeseen events? What about the finances? We cannot turn around to the taxpayer even in five, 10, or 15 years’ time and say, “This is an unforeseen circumstance. We, as a Government, will now pay the decommissioning costs.” That would show a huge bias towards nuclear that people, rightly or wrongly, believe currently prevails.