UK parliament worried about cost of nuclear waste

The cost of disposing of Britain's nuclear waste is rising by the day, the UK's parliamentary watchdog has warned.

An ''extraordinary accumulation of hazardous nuclear waste" in "outdated facilities" will cost nearly £70 billion to clean up, the Public Accounts Committee said in a report published over the weekend.

The cost of cleaning up the Sellafield nuclear waste site in Cumbria has reached £67.5 billion, with no sign of when it will stop rising, says the PAC. Almost all of the major nuclear decommissioning projects at the complex are behind schedule and many of them are over budget.

The Cumbria County Council last week refused to allow the drilling of a deep underground repository for high-level waste in the Lake District, which has supported the muse of undying poets like William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and Percy Shelley.

In a highly critical report, the PAC said that of the 14 major projects at Sellafield, 12 are behind schedule and five of them are costing more than anticipated; yet the private companies running the plant are being paid handsomely without taking on any risk.

Britain's PAC is far more influential than that of other parliamentary democracies like India; and its report is expected to have far-reaching consequences.