Hidden Subsidy for Nuclear Power

In the British Parliament on 11 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.


Robert Palgrave, Dr Gerry Wolff, Marianne Jones