The government’s plans to quit the Euratom treaty pose a fresh threat to the UK’s increasingly embattled nuclear new build programme, a new report has warned. Last month Brexit secretary David Davis confirmed its intention to pull out of Euratom, the European nuclear research agency that predates the European Union and its predecessors. The plans were included in explanatory notes to the Brexit Bill. The decision was criticised by Tom Greatrex, the chief exectuive of the Nuclear Industry Association, who said: “The UK nuclear industry has made it crystal clear to the government that our preferred position is to maintain membership of Euratom. The nuclear industry is global, so the ease of movement of nuclear goods, people and services enables new build, decommissioning, R&D and other programmes of work to continue without interruption.” Now a new study by the Institute of Mechanical Engineers (IME) says the government’s plans to quit the treaty could imperil fuel supplies, jeopardising energy security as well as threatening plans to build new nuclear reactors and decommissioning activities. The IME said the government should create a transitional framework for the nuclear industry instead and as well as create new nuclear cooperation agreements (NCAs) with Euratom and non-EU trading countries ahead of leaving Euratom. In particular, nuclear goods, services and research activities should be part of any new trade deals negotiated with the US, Canada, Australia, China and South Africa.
Building 21st Feb 2017 read more »