Nuclear Waste: Clean-up bill estimated at pounds 42bn

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Our grandchildren face a huge and unfair burden in dealing with the nuclear contamination and waste building up in Britain today, according to Sussex University's Science Policy Research Unit. Using official figures, its researchers estimated the total bill for dealing with radioactive waste from civil nuclear sites such as power stations and decommissioning them at pounds 42bn - more than pounds 700 for every Briton alive today.

The scientists' report, published yesterday, says that pounds 31bn of this bill falls to the two companies which own the UK's nuclear power stations, state-owned Magnox Electric and the private sector British Energy. Between them, they have only have pounds 13bn covered, leaving more than half unfunded - a situation which is "plainly inadequate", says the report, which urges a fundamental review.