The cost of decommissioning and cleaning up the Sellafield nuclear site in Cumbria has increased by £5bn to £53bn, says the National Audit Office.
Margaret Hodge MP, chair of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) which commissioned the report, said the cost hike was “astonishing.”
A year ago, the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, the body responsible for the clean up, said the cost would be £48bn.
The work is also behind schedule, the report said.
The Authority gave the £9bn Sellafield clean-up contract to Nuclear Management Partners (NMP), but following criticism of NMP’s competence, decided in January to cancel the contract.
The total cost of cleaning up the UK’s 17 nuclear sites is “around £70bn”, the NAO says.
Sellafield is the “UK’s largest and most hazardous nuclear site”, including two nuclear fuel reprocessing plants, waste management and storage plants, as well as storage ponds and silos containing waste from the UK’s first nuclear plants.
The Authority aims to clear the site by 2120.
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