A government report, released under the Freedom of Information Act, admits that the Sellafield Mixed Oxide plant, that was closed down two years ago, lost £2.2bn, instead of making the promised profit. The report says it was ‘not fit for purpose’ and its performance had been ‘very poor’.
The predictions were that it would produce120 tons of fuel a year and cost £280m. When it closed, its output was less than 14 tons in 10 years, and its cost £1.4bn, excluding £0.8bn for decommissioning. West Midlands campaigners played a big part in opposing the building of the plant.
The National Audit Office and the Public Accounts Committee have both criticised delays and cost overruns at Sellafield. It has just been fined £700,000 after ‘significant management and operational failings’, led to radioactive waste being sent to a landfill site.
The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority is reviewing whether to renew the contract with the consortium responsible for cleaning up Sellafield, Nuclear Management Partners. One option is to take Sellafield back into government hands. Decommissioning is expected to cost more than £67bn over the next century.