UK nuclear clean-up budget

02 April 2009

Funding for the next year of nuclear clean-up in the UK has been outlined in the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority's business plan.


Sellafield from the visitor's centre
The view from the Sellafield
visitors centre
Over the next financial year, the NDA has forecast a spend of £2880 million ($4237 million) on dismantling legacy nuclear facilities from the UK's national program to develop nuclear power. The funding for this comes from government, but with a large portion repaid to government from the commercial income from some of NDA's estate. In FY2009, commercial operation is expected to be £1343 million ($1976 million), leaving government funding at £1537 million ($2261 million).


The NDA said that the individual budgets for its sites had been set in order to ensure "a balance of decommissioning progress whilst addressing the cost pressures that continue to apply at Sellafield." The NDA commissioned work to "identify the minimum level of funding to maintain safe and secure Magnox site operations" in order to "address hazard reduction and maintain safety" at Sellafield. Now it should be able to "better manage the impact of Sellafield cost pressures on other site decommissioning programs."


Sellafield does indeed get the lion's share of NDA funding: some £1175 million is allocated for the next year. This compares to £328 million for the Springfields nuclear fuel plant and £157 million for Dounreay. Shutdown Magnox sites Chapelcross, Trawsfynydd and Hunterston A receive £55 million, £50 million and £47 million respectively while the five other shutdown Magnox sites receive between £30 million and £40 million. Two still operate - Wylfa and Oldbury - and these receive significantly more for that reason, while of course paying back their income.


One special commercial fund-raising program currently under way for NDA is the sale of three land packages for new build projects. A spokesman confirmed that bids were ongoing in the long-running auction and that the process would not end until 24 hours had passed without a bid.

The NDA avoids specifying the income from each individual sites, but in the year just past commercial income was £1452 million, with decommissioning spend lower at £2593 million. Since the NDA began its job, spending has gradually increased from £2420 million in FY2005.


Figures estimated for FY2009 are £2789 million in spending with £1156 million from operations and £1633 million from government. In FY2010, spending is put at £2774 million with £1066 million from operations and £1707 from government.

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