The United Kingdom’s Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) said this week it expects to spend £3.1 billion ($3.9 billion) in its upcoming 2019-2020 budget year.
Just over £2.9 billion ($3.7 billion) of that will be spent at its nuclear cleanup, reprocessing, and waste management facilities around the nation. The remaining money be directed toward non-site-specific operations, according to the NDA’s draft business plan for April 1, 2019, to March 31, 2022.
The U.K. government will pay for £2.2 billion ($2.8 billion) of the costs, with the rest coming from nuclear fuel reprocessing and other income sources.
The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority is a nondepartmental government agency that oversees, and in some major locations directly manages, cleanup of the nation’s nuclear legacy.
Its primary location is the Sellafield site, former location of plutonium production for the nation’s nuclear arsenal and early nuclear power development. The Cumbria facility is wrapping up its reprocessing mission, which will leave just remediation.
Managing Sellafield Ltd., the NDA subsidiary that runs the site, is expected to cost an even £2 billion ($2.5 billion). More than half of that is for decommissioning and cleanup costs, followed by management and capital expenditures.
The Sellafield site in November formally retired its Thermal Oxide Reprocessing Plant. The Magnox Reprocessing Plant, which reprocesses fuel from the nation’s now-retired Magnox reactors, is due to complete its mission in 2020, NDA CEO David Peattie wrote in an introduction to the draft business plan.
“These two landmark developments will transform Sellafield, the UK’s largest and most complex nuclear site, from an operational business into an organisation that is wholly focused on decommissioning” Peattie stated.
Beyond Sellafield, the top planned expenses for 2019-2020 are Magnox Ltd., the soon-to-be NDA subsidiary that is decommissioning the same-named reactors, at £475 million ($604 million); Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd., cleaning up the former fast-reactor site in Scotland, at £185 million ($235 million); and Low Level Waste Repository Ltd., at £68 million ($86.6 million).