Nuclear power stations would be forced to shut down if a new measures are not in place when Britain quits a European atomic power treaty in 2019, an expert has warned. Rupert Cowen, a senior nuclear energy lawyer at Prospect Law, told MPs on Tuesday that leaving the Euratom treaty as the government has promised could see trade in nuclear fuel grind to a halt. The UK government has said it will exit Euratom when article 50 is triggered. The treaty promotes cooperation and research into nuclear power, and uniform safety standards. “Unlike other arrangements, if we don’t get this right, business stops. There will be no trade. If we can’t arrive at safeguards and other principles that allow compliance [with international nuclear standards] to be demonstrated, no nuclear trade will be able to continue.” Asked by the chair of the Commons business, energy and industrial strategy select committee if that would see reactors switching off, he said: “Ultimately, when their fuels runs out, yes.” Cowen said that in his view there was no legal requirement for the UK to leave Euratom because of Brexit: “It’s a political issue, not a legal issue.”
Guardian 28th Feb 2017 read more »
Engineering & Technology 28th Feb 2017 read more »
UK trade minister Liam Fox today reassured the country’s international partners that it remains committed to its nuclear power program as it leaves the Euratom Treaty. The government announced last month the UK intends to leave the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom) in explanatory notes to a bill it published authorising Brexit. The peaceful use of nuclear energy within the EU is governed by the 1957 Euratom Treaty. The Euratom Community is a separate legal entity from the EU, but it is governed by the bloc’s institutions. The Euratom framework includes nuclear cooperation agreements with third party countries, including Canada, Japan and the USA. It facilitates UK participation in long-term research and development projects, and it also provides a framework for international nuclear safeguard compliance. Opening the Civil Nuclear Showcase in London, an event organised by his Department for International Trade, Fox said, “Some have suggested that the referendum result was a vote for insularity or that the UK will somehow be abandoning our international commitments. Nothing could be further from the truth.
World Nuclear News 28th Feb 2017 read more »
There are “just weeks” to secure the future of a world-leading research facility on UK soil in the wake of the government’s decision to leave the European Atomic Energy Community as part of Brexit. The future of the JET experimental reactor has been in question since it was announced last month that the UK would be leaving Euratom, which funds and coordinates nuclear research, including the Oxfordshire facility.
Times Higher Education 27th Feb 2017 read more »