The growing worry of what to do with Europe’s old nuclear reactors

Aging Nuke Plants Add to Europe’s Economic Woes, By GARY PEACH Washington Examiner, Associated Press VISAGINAS, Lithuania November 17, 2012“…….Other EU countries will have to foot the bill for closing their own plants, adding to taxpayers’ woes. In Germany, it will be in addition to energy price increases as the government scrambles to finance an ambitious switch from nuclear to renewables, which should account for 60 percent of total energy consumption by 2030.

Just last month Germany’s main utilities announced that households could see their
electricity bill jump up to 50 percent in order to finance this transition from nuclear power.

Experts say that disassembling atomic plants promises to be far costlier than previously estimated, given the lack of experience worldwide and nuclear operators’ propensity to underestimate decommissioning costs to make new projects look more attractive.

Thomas of Greenwich University said in Britain nuclear operators were supposed to pay for the decommissioning, but over the decades the cost was passed to the government, which will have to come up with €120 billion ($153 billion) over the next century to dismantle the

country’s existing nuclear power plants.

Just abandoning the facilities with radioactivity trapped inside is not an option. But given the enormous expenditures, some governments are opting to drag out the decommissioning over many decades……


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