Scotland’s ability to safeguard nuclear sites will be compromised by Brexit, say government advisers who are concerned that EU oversight of inspections and monitoring of atomic facilities will be lost. An expert group led by Professor Anne Glover, president of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, said Westminster will need to establish a system of policing the country’s nuclear power plants, which include Torness in East Lothian and Hunterston B in North Ayrshire, when the UK is forced to leave Euratom, the European nuclear regulator. The UK’s Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) must take on extra duties after the UK leaves the EU, including the “safeguards” regime required under international rules to prevent misuse of fissile materials, the panel said. The group believes the move could place further strain on the UK’s ability to conduct environmental monitoring at nuclear facilities amid warnings that staff and resources are stretched to the limit. In addition to Scotland’s two active nuclear plants, three — Dounreay, Chapelcross and Hunterston A — are being decommissioned. Glover’s team also warns that attracting and retaining staff in key roles is an issue.
Times 10th June 2018 read more »