Costs rise for decommissioning atomic plants

The cost of decommissioning Switzerland’s five nuclear power plants is estimated at more than SFr20 billion ($22 billion) – ten per cent more than five years ago.

This content was published on November 24, 2011 - 08:30 and agencies

The findings were released by the Federal Energy Office on Thursday and also included costs of disposing of radioactive waste.

Switzerland announced earlier this year that it would be phasing out nuclear power by 2034.

The estimate for decommissioning and disposal costs is reviewed and updated every five years. The 2011 report was done by swissnuclear, representing the industry, and had been mandated by the Energy Office’s Decommissioning and Waste Disposal Funds.

It was found that decommissioning in particular had become more expensive at 17 per cent more than five years ago. Estimates were based on current projects in Germany. Costs would be covered by the decommissioning funds, an Energy Office statement said.

Disposal costs were ten per cent more, as modernised deep geological repositories for the waste are expected to be more expensive.

The findings still have to be reviewed by the Swiss Federal Nuclear Safety Inspectorate.

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