Britain will be on the hook for large volumes of dangerous radioactive waste — some of it imported from the rest of Europe — under proposals by Brussels to transfer ownership of a range of nuclear materials to the UK after it leaves the EU. Almost 130 tonnes of plutonium stored at Sellafield in Cumbria is among the nuclear material that would formally shift to UK control, according to draft documents issued by Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator. All “special fissile material” — forms of uranium and plutonium used in nuclear fuels and some of the resulting waste — within the EU are technically owned by Euratom, the pan-European regulator of civilian nuclear activity. Mr Barnier’s provisional negotiating position calls for a Brexit agreement to “ensure, where appropriate, the transfer to the United Kingdom” ownership of “special fissile material” currently controlled by Euratom within the UK. Such an agreement would make the UK legally responsible not only for its own nuclear material but also reprocessed spent fuel imported over several decades from Germany, Sweden and elsewhere for recycling at Sellafield.
FT 4th May 2017 read more »
What if Britain crashes out of Euratom? The Brexit-related decision on atomic energy could cause chaos
Economist 4th May 2017 read more »