The White Paper announced plans to establish the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (originally called the Liabilities Management Authority - LMA) to assume responsibility on behalf of the taxpayer for the estimated £40 billion* bill for cleaning up the radioactive waste mountain. This move effectively bailed out the technically insolvent BNFL, freeing it to expand its nuclear waste-creating businesses. The proposals fail to address the root cause of the problems of radioactive waste; namely its generation from nuclear power station operation, fuel fabrication and the reprocessing of spent fuel. Worse, the NDA removes over £40 billion* of debt from the accounts of nuclear companies (such as BNFL) that created the problem, freeing them to pursue an aggressive nuclear expansion programme.
NB. This figure eventually rose to £48bn, but in August 2005, the NDA announced another £8bn increase to £56bn. If the decision is taken to reclassify plutonium as waste, rather than an asset, another £10bn would be added (Source: The Guardian, August 11th, 2005.