Friday 25 September 1998
Obviously, this is going to be highly controversial. Even the last administration hesitated when it came to selling BNFL. For New Labour to embark on such a project might therefore seem a trifle foolhardy. BNFL's business is a sensitive one and it is never far from the environmental debate. Furthermore, the integration of the Magnox power stations into the core business of producing and reprocessing nuclear fuel creates potentially vast decommissioning liabilities that the private sector won't want to have anything to do with.
It also gives BNFL control of and responsibility for Nyrex, which is charged with storing and ultimately disposing of nuclear waste. Forget the political flak Peter Mandelson is going to get for suggesting the idea; all this is going to present even the City's finest with quite a privatisation challenge.
But there's no reason it shouldn't or can't be done. Indeed, BNFL's acquisition this summer of Westinghouse's nuclear reprocessing plants and related businesses in the US makes the strongest possible case for doing it. The Westinghouse acquisition demonstrates both that it is possible to have private sector ownership of such assets and that this has become a global, commercial business, perhaps best managed by a global enterprise.
Mr Mandelson is right to be contemplating privatisation, even if it is going to give him more than a touch of trouble with the brown rice-eating brigade.
- 1 Howard Jacobson: Let's see the 'criticism' of Israel for what it really is
- 2 Instagram of US airport security chiefs: Lipstick knives and IED training kits among items seized
- 4 PornHub begs users to stop uploading video clips of Brazil getting beaten 7-1
Game of Thrones author George RR Martin says 'f*** you' to fans who fear he will die before finishing Westeros saga
Jennifer Lawrence face palms Emma Watson at Christian Dior show in Paris
Instagram of US airport security chiefs: Lipstick knives and IED training kits among items seized
Mick Jagger denies being World Cup curse and reason for Brazil’s embarrassing defeat
Gingers face extinction due to climate change, scientists warn
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
British jihadist calls for 'flag of Islam' over Downing Street and Buckingham Palace
Australia facing international condemnation after turning around Sri Lankans at sea
7/7 memorial defaced on anniversary of 2005 attacks with ‘Blair lied thousands died’ graffiti
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
There’s a nasty smell in the political air – and it’s coming from the Tories
iJobs Money & Business
£60000 - £75000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Business Analyst Consultant (Fina...
£60000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A leading provider in investment managemen...
£600 - £700 per day: Harrington Starr: AVS, JVS Openlink Endur Developer JVS, ...
£30000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A global leader in trading platforms and e...