Hidden Subsidy for Nuclear Power

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Dear Editor,

In Parliament on the 11th of October, John Hutton MP, Secretary of State, Department for Business, Enterprise & Regulatory Reform, said “There will be no taxpayer subsidy and no hidden subsidies for new nuclear [power] if Her Majesty’s Government reach[es] that decision.”

It is interesting that he says there would be no *hidden* subsidies for nuclear power because in the UK, as in many other countries around the world, nuclear power enjoys a very large hidden subsidy: it is required to pay only a small fraction of the cost of insuring fully against a Chernobyl-style disaster or worse. Details of the size of this subsidy are given in Helen Caldicott’s book “Nuclear power is not the answer.”

If the Government is serious in saying that there would be no hidden subsidies for nuclear power, then it should require the nuclear industry to pay the full cost of insuring against nuclear disasters, without any limitations on liabilities.

Sincerely,

Robert Palgrave ([email protected], +44 (0)1483 762697, Valedown, Maybourne Rise, Woking, Surrey, GU22 0SH)

Dr Gerry Wolff ([email protected], +44 (0)1248 712962, www.mng.org.uk/gh/, 18 Penlon, Menai Bridge, Anglesey, LL59 5LR, UK)

Marianne Jones ([email protected], +44 (0)1248 712962, www.mng.org.uk/gh/, 18 Penlon, Menai Bridge, Anglesey, LL59 5LR, UK)

On Radio 4’s Today programme on the 7th of September, John Hutton MP, Secretary of State, Department for Business, Enterprise & Regulatory Reform, repeated what the Government has said on previous occasions: that no subsidies would be provided for new nuclear power stations.

But in the UK, as in many other countries around the world, nuclear power enjoys a very large subsidy because it is required to pay only a small fraction of the cost of insuring fully against a Chernobyl-style disaster or worse.>/p>

Details of the size of the subsidy are given in Helen Caldicott’s book “Nuclear power is not the answer” (ISBN-10 1595582134: ISBN-13 978-1-59558-067-2).