Burnham & Highbridge Times, 7 January 2006

Cleaning up Hinkley Point is likely to cost £1.1 billion and experts predict this could rise even higher.

The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA), which took over Hinkley A in April last year, produced a draft strategy for cleaning up its 20 civil nuclear sites across the UK and says it may cost a total of £56 billion - more than £900 for every person in the country.

In the south west, the predicted bill so far is £3.784 billion, but the NDA is warning this could get even higher.

Spokesman Richard Flynn said: "The estimated clean up cost shown in our draft strategy for Hinkley A will be around £1.1 billion and it is expected we will achieve site clearance by 2030."

Jim Duffy, of the Stop Hinkley Campaign, said that costs had already gone up and would probably rise again. He said: "The fact that it has gone up by 10 per cent in four months from £1 billion to £1.1 billion does not surprise me."

The NDA was set up last year to supervise the gradual clean-up of the UK's oldest power stations, which are either closed or coming to the end of their working lives. But the NDA has not included the eventual cost of cleaning up privately-owned sites, such as Nuclear B, which is owned by British Energy.

Once it stops producing power in 2011, the bill will be paid by a special fund which the NDA* has been paying into for years.

* Error: British Energy's fund

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