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Energy Act 2008

Section 62: Power to apply this Chapter to other nuclear installations.

293.This section allows the Secretary of State, by order (subject to the affirmative resolution procedure – section 105), to modify section 45 (duty to submit a funded decommissioning programme) so that it applies to persons who apply for a nuclear site licence of a description specified in the order. Subsection (2) sets out that these sites must be sites where the person intends to build a nuclear installation for a purpose connected with the generation of electricity, or where such an installation has already been constructed (in circumstances where a programme was previously required) which that person intends to operate.

Section 63: Co-operation with other public bodies

294.This section allows the Secretary of State to require certain public bodies (the Health and Safety Executive, the Environment Agency and the Department of the Environment for Northern Ireland) to assist him in discharging his duties under this Chapter of the Act.

295.Subsections (3) and (4) allow the Secretary of State and the relevant public bodies to share information which relates to a person listed in subsection (5) with each other, if any of them consider that the information they hold is relevant to a function of either the Secretary of State under this Chapter or to a function of the relevant public bodies in relation to a programme.

296.Subsection (6) provides that disclosure under this section may not be prevented by any other restrictions on the disclosure of such information by the persons concerned.

297.Subsection (7) provides that references to a site operator in this section also refer to the person who has applied for a nuclear site licence but where the application has not yet been determined.

Section 64: Continuity of obligations

298.This section provides that the obligations on an operator (or former operator) under a decommissioning programme remain until the Secretary of State explicitly releases them from their obligations, even if it no longer holds a site licence.

299.Subsection (4) sets out that the Secretary of State can release the operator from some or all of their obligations under a programme. In releasing the operator, the Secretary of State may release it from:

  • all of the former site operator’s obligations or only specified obligations;

  • its obligations in relation to part of, or the whole site;

  • its obligations in relation to all nuclear installations on a site, or only to specified installations.

300.Subsection (5) provides that the power in subsection (3) applies in relation to any other person with obligations under the programme as it applies to the site operator. Subsection (6) provides that this section does not affect the obligations under this Chapter of any other person who applies for and is granted a nuclear site licence in relation to the site referred to.

Section 65: Amendment of Nuclear Installations Act 1965

301.Section 1(3) of the Nuclear Installations Act 1965 makes it an offence to install or operate a nuclear installation without a site licence issued by Health and Safety Executive. This section makes it clear that even if the operator complies with section 1(1) of the 1965 Act, he may nonetheless commit an offence if he fails to comply with section 47.

Section 66: Disposal of hazardous material

302.This section provides that where the Secretary of State enters into an agreement for the disposals of relevant hazardous material that is associated with a funded decommissioning programme, the agreement may include provision for a fee to be paid to the Secretary of State.

303.Subsection (2) requires that the Secretary of State have the consent of Treasury in relation to the fee prior to entering into such an agreement.

304.Subsection (3)(a) allows for the fee to include an amount set by the Secretary of State to take account of any uncertainty with the costs associated with the obligations related to the disposal of waste that might fall on the Secretary of State when entering into such an agreement. These obligations might include the costs associated with maintaining interim waste disposal stores should the repository not be available on time, for example. It can also include the costs associated with maintaining the repository once waste from new build has been placed in it.

305.Subsection (3)(b)(i) provides that a proportion of the fee may cover the costs of the design and construction of the repository whilst subsection (3)(b)(ii) allows a proportion of the fee to be set in relation to the uncertainty associated with the construction of a repository in which hazardous material is to be disposed of. In this context expenditure incurred in connection with “design and construction” might also include expenditure on related research and development, but it is not restricted only to those activities.

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