Search Legislation

Energy Act 2008

Section 54: Nuclear decommissioning: regulations and guidance

267.This section provides the Secretary of State with the power to make regulations (subject to the negative resolution procedure - see section 105), about the preparation, content and implementation of a funded decommissioning programme; and about the modification of such programmes.

268.Subsection (2) sets out a number of matters which such regulations may, in particular, contain. These include (in subsection (a)) the technical matters as set out in section 45:

  • how hazardous waste (which includes radioactive waste) will be managed during the operation of the power station and disposed of at the end of the power station’s life,

  • how the power station will be decommissioned at the end of its life,

  • how the site is to be cleaned up.

269.Subsection (2)(b) enables the regulations to cover the manner in which the estimation of costs of the technical matters identified in subsection 2(a) are arrived at, and how such estimates are to be verified (including the possibility for third party verification).

270.Subsection (2)(c) enables regulations to cover the financing of the designated technical matters, including security arrangements. Subsection 2(d) enables regulations to be made about payments, from funds held or accumulated for this purpose, to the site operator or another person.

271.Subsections (2)(e) enables regulations to set out how the Secretary of State can request information from persons with obligations under a funded decommissioning programme. Subsection (2)(f) enables regulations to set out the fees to be charged to recover costs which the Secretary of State incurs in obtaining advice in relation to that information

272.Subsections (2)(g) and (h) enable the regulations to deal with how fees payable under this Chapter are to be determined and when they are to be paid.

273.The regulations may make it an offence to contravene specified provisions of the regulations. Subsection (4) states that any offence must set out the nature of the trial and sanction. The regulations must not authorise a summary offence which provides for a sanction of imprisonment or a fine exceeding the statutory maximum, or an indictable offence which provides for imprisonment for a term exceeding two years.

274.Subsection (5) allows the Secretary of State to publish guidance about the preparation, content, modification and implementation of a funded decommissioning programme.

275.Subsection (6) creates a duty on the Secretary of State to publish guidance on factors which it may be appropriate to consider when deciding whether to approve or modify a programme or the conditions attached to a programme.

276.Subsection (7) creates a duty on the Secretary of State to have regard to guidance in force under this section, when taking decisions in relation to operators’ funded decommissioning programmes. Guidance may relate to the matters referred to in subsections (2)(a) to (e). The power to publish the guidance may be exercised in order to issue revised guidance.

277.Subsections (8) and (9) provide that, before making regulations or publishing guidance, the Secretary of State must consult the Health and Safety Executive, the Environment Agency and the Department of the Environment for Northern Ireland, so far as the regulations or guidance relate to the roles and responsibilities of those bodies.

278.Subsection (10) sets out that any guidance published under this Chapter must be laid before Parliament.

Back to top


Print Options


Explanatory Notes

Text created by the government department responsible for the subject matter of the Act to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes were introduced in 1999 and accompany all Public Acts except Appropriation, Consolidated Fund, Finance and Consolidation Acts.


More Resources

Access essential accompanying documents and information for this legislation item from this tab. Dependent on the legislation item being viewed this may include:

  • the original print PDF of the as enacted version that was used for the print copy
  • lists of changes made by and/or affecting this legislation item
  • confers power and blanket amendment details
  • all formats of all associated documents
  • correction slips
  • links to related legislation and further information resources