Letter: Nuclear power is a private matter

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Sir: It is a good job that the Chancellor did not listen to the advice of Clive Bates in Tuesday's Budget ('Find the energy to go private', 29 November). Mr Bates asked the Chancellor to stop putting taxpayers' money behind Thorp, whereas the taxpayer has not contributed a penny to it. Thorp was built with money raised from its customers, most of them foreign. The money to decommission it will come from the revenue it earns in operation; most of this will again be from overseas.

On the wider point he makes about accumulating a fund for decommissioning nuclear power stations, the industry has this 'problem' under control. By 1998 the nuclear levy will have raised all the funds necessary to meet Nuclear Electric's liabilities for, among other things, decommissioning.

Yours faithfully,



British Nuclear Industry Forum

London, SW1