Decommissioning of both commercial and R&D nuclear facilities is expected to increase significantly in the coming years, and the largest of such industrial decommissioning projects could command considerable budgets. It is important to understand the costs of decommissioning projects in order to develop realistic cost estimates as early as possible based on preliminary decommissioning plans, but also to develop funding mechanisms to ensure that future decommissioning expenses can be adequately covered. Sound financial provisions need to be accumulated early on to reduce the potential risk for residual, unfunded liabilities and the burden on future generations, while ensuring environmental protection.
Decommissioning planning can be subject to considerable uncertainties, particularly in relation to potential changes in financial markets, in energy policies or in the conditions and requirements for decommissioning individual nuclear installations, and such uncertainties need to be reflected in regularly updated cost estimates.
This booklet offers a useful overview of the relevant aspects of financing the decommissioning of nuclear facilities. It provides information on cost estimation for decommissioning, as well as details about funding mechanisms and the management of funds based on current practice in NEA member countries.