Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Loophole in energy bill could see UK taxpayers funding nuclear bailouts

Obscure clause would make government liable for unexpected costs, despite assurances that the industry will not receive public subsidies

The coalition government is opening a legal loophole that could allow taxpayer-funded guarantees to nuclear power stations, while publicly insisting that the industry will stand on its own.

An obscure clause in the forthcoming energy bill, seen by the Guardian, means that nuclear power companies could in future be eligible for bailouts, despite ministers' repeated denials that no public subsidies would be made available. The move also threatens to open cracks in the coalition over nuclear energy, with Liberal Democrat members and grassroots opposed to the technology.


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