Friday, 6 November 2009

Accounting for Nuclear Power

During yesterday's House of Commons Questions and Answers session the Minister for Energy and Climate Change, David Kidney, made an unusually perceptive, for a government spokesman, observation on accounting for the costs of nuclear power. He said that the historic costs of building, operating and decommissioning earlier generations of nuclear power stations were indeed very high per unit of output but that the historic costs were not the same as those anticipated for a future generation of nuclear facilities and should not be used in planning for the United Kingdom's energy needs.

Historic costs are the bedrock of accurate accounts, a principle that should never have been abandoned to allow so-called mark-to-market accounting. However we should always remember the profound difference of purpose between accounts and projections in order to ensure that both our accounts and our projections are more honest, truthful and useful..

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