Withdrawing from the EU without a trade deal would be the “worst-case scenario” for the nuclear industry, Tom Greatrex has warned. The Nuclear Industry Association chief executive told a conference in London, organised by Chinese atomic energy company Ocean Energy last week, that the Brexit transition period would be “crucial” to the sector, which depended in turn on whether the UK is able to strike a trade deal with the EU. “No deal is the worst-case scenario for our industry because of the specific nature of the Euratom treaty,” he said, referring to the EU-wide framework for safeguarding nuclear materials and labour. Greatrex also raised alarm bells over the impact of Brexit on the industry despite the steps taken by colleges in Somerset to train local people to work in the Hinkley Point C plant. He said: “We haven’t got enough and we have to grow that capacity quite quickly. Labour peer Lord Hanworth echoed Greatrex’s concerns about the industry’s skilled labour pipeline, citing as a particular worry the government’s failure to make a decision so far on Rolls Royce’s bid to develop a small modular reactor programme. Rolls Royce could “no longer sustain” the project in the face of “considerable uncertainty”, he said: “If they have to walk away from the project, Britain will lose part of its nuclear engineering competence. “

Utility Week 12th June 2018 read more »


Published: 13 June 2018