HC Deb 12 May 1983 vol 42 c374W
Mr. McKelvey

asked the Secretary of State for Energy how much (a) coal fuel costs and (b) nuclear fuel costs have risen since 1973.

Mr. John Moore

I am advised by the CEGB that coal and nuclear fuel cycle costs in pence per unit of output from its coal and nuclear power stations for 1973–74 were as follows:

Coal (p/kwh) Nuclear (plkwh )
0.3746 0.1165

The relative costs for nuclear fuel in 1981–82 are not directly comparable because of accounting changes. These are set out in the notes, and after incorporating the changes the figures for 1981–82 are as follows:

Coal (p/kwh) Nuclear (p/kwh)
1.8366 1.4471

The nuclear fuel costs largely reflect those for Magnox stations as these account for the bulk of nuclear generation. They do not therefore reflect the more efficient fuel use in the AGR and the considerably lower fuel costs for the AGR as against the most recent coal stations. The most recently commissioned coal and nuclear stations show costs as follows:

Coal (plkwh) Drax (first half) Nuclear (p/kwh) Hinkley Point B
1981–82 1.59 0.77


1. For nuclear fuel the following changes in accounting practice took place:

(a) From 1975–76—Charges have been made in the accounts for future long term storage of waste products.

(b) From 1975–76—Charges have been made in the accounts for the future reprocessing of fuel remaining in reactors at station shutdown.

(c) From 1976–77—The annual charge which writes off the cost of the initial nuclear fuel was reallocated from depreciation to fuel costs.

(d) From 1980–81—the CEGB adopted current cost accounting and accordingly fuel costs were based on current replacement rather than average historic costs.

2. Coal costs include the cost of coal, coal transport, handling and ash disposal. Nuclear costs include fuel burnt (the cost of ore and manufacture, treatment of waste products and a proportionate charge for initial fuel load).

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