PAC report on BE

26 July 2007

The UK’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has issued a report on the restructuring of nuclear generator British Energy.

Edward Leigh, chairman of the Committee, said that while British Energy took on full responsibility for its nuclear power stations, including the associated nuclear liabilities, in actual fact, from 2002 when the company was restructured, liabilities – valued at £5.3 billion ($10.6 billion) in 2006 - have been underwritten by the taxpayer.

The former Department of Trade and Industry “must not forget this and do a lot better job in monitoring the performance of the company, influencing its commercial strategy and ensuring that the eventual liabilities are as small as possible,” said Leigh.

Commenting on the report Liberal Democrat Shadow Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Secretary, Lembit Öpik said: “The restructuring of British Energy was clearly a botched job. The deal seems to be that the company is free to make money and control its own affairs, while the taxpayer is left to pick up the bill for dealing with the resulting nuclear waste.”


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