To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change when his Department submitted its application to the European Commission for approval of providing state support for the financed radioactive waste and decommissioning plans for new build nuclear power plants; when he expects the decision on this application to be made; and if he will place in the Library a copy of the application.
Under the Energy Act 2008 operators of new nuclear power stations are required to have a Funded Decommissioning Programme (FDP) approved by the Secretary of State before construction can begin. There is no provision for state support in the FDP framework and the Government does not intend to make any application to the European Commission under state aid rules in regard to the FDP framework.
Alongside the approval of an operator's FDP, the Government will expect to enter into a contract with the operator regarding the terms on which the Government will take title to and liability for the operator's spent fuel and intermediate level waste (ILW). In particular, this agreement will need to set out how the price that will be charged for this waste transfer will be determined (the “Waste Transfer Price”). The Government has published a methodology which sets out how the Waste Transfer Price will be determined. This is available at:
The methodology states that the Government's approach to taking title to and liability for ILW and spent fuel will be subject to ensuring compliance with EU state aid rules. The Government has therefore been in contact with the European Commission in order to ensure that the Government's approach is compliant with EU state aid rules and expects to submit a formal notification of this case in 2014 in accordance with EU procedures. All state aid decisions by the European Commission are published on the European Commission website.