Swiss government officials say that a total of 1.4 billion Swiss francs ($830 million) has been paid into the country's new centralised fund for long-term radioactive waste and spent fuel management.
The size of individual contributions to the fund is calculated in line with estimated total long-term costs. The operators estimate that the total amount needed will be 13 billion Swiss francs ($7.7 billion). Around one third of that amount will be needed to cover costs incurred before the plants cease operation. As well as regular payments, the Swiss plant operators must make top-up payments within a period of five years, in order to bring the total amount in the fund up to the same level that would have been reached if regular payments had been made every year since the plant began operation. An exception has been made in the case of Leibstadt, which has until 2009.
The fund, which effectively replaces and centralises investments that had previously been made by each operator on an individual basis, is similar in structure to the Swiss centralised fund for the decommissioning of nuclear plants, set up in 1984.