‘UK must prepare for EU nuclear body exit now’

The government must work closely with the nuclear industry to deliver replacement arrangements for when the UK leaves Europe’s nuclear co-operation body. That’s according to a new report from the […]

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By Jonny Bairstow

The government must work closely with the nuclear industry to deliver replacement arrangements for when the UK leaves Europe’s nuclear co-operation body.

That’s according to a new report from the UK Nuclear Industry Association (NIA), which says leaving Euratom without having an established plan for the future could result in serious disruption for the UK’s nuclear facilities and businesses.

The report sets out priority areas for negotiations with the EU and outlines the steps the government need to take to safeguard the sector.

These areas include agreeing a new UK safeguards regime and replacing existing agreements with key nuclear markets, such as the Euratom Community, the US and Kazakhstan.

It also advises setting out the process for the future movements of nuclear material, goods, people and services and agreeing a new funding arrangement for research and development, particularly in fusion technologies.

The NIA is urging the government to begin these negotiations by seeking an agreement with the EU that existing arrangements will continue to apply until the process of agreeing new arrangements is concluded.

Tom Greatrex, Chief Executive of the NIA, said: “This new report demonstrates that without new arrangements in place by the time the UK leaves the Euratom community, there is scope for real and considerable disruption.

“The UK civil nuclear industry is ready and willing to work with the government as it begins the process of putting replacement arrangements for Euratom in place. The clock is ticking and this is a priority of increasing urgency.”