The operators of nuclear power stations are required to make provision for the cost, not only of dealing with their radioactive waste, but of decommissioning the stations and eventually dismantling them and returning the sites to “greenfield” status (unnecessary because a new station would probably be built on the site). This provision is reflected in the price they charge for their electricity.
But what provision is made for the decommissioning and eventual removal of renewable generation plants? As far as I know, hydro-electric operators make no provision for the removal of their stations, certainly not for the removal of the dams and restoration of the drowned valleys to their original state. What provision do the operators of wind farms make for the eventual removal of the towers, their huge concrete bases, drainage, cabling and roadways?
All generators of electricity should make the same provision for removal of their plant.
6 July 2008
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