Nuclear black hole

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Britain is facing a GBP 4bn black hole in unavoidable nuclear decommissioning and waste costs, Chris Huhne, the energy and climate change secretary disclosed tonight. The decommissioning costs over the next four years revealed by officials to Huhne are so serious that he has already flagged the crisis up to the cabinet.

The revelation places an unexpected burden on his department’s L3bn annual budget ahead of difficult spending negotiations this summer. “As you can imagine, this is a fairly existential problem. The costs are such that my department is not so much the department of energy and climate change, as the department of nuclear legacy and bits of other things,” Huhne told the Guardian.

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