Brexit will create “an alarming mess” for nuclear power stations in the UK, experts have warned, saying it could even cause major power cuts. Scientists say leaving the Euratom agency that oversees nuclear safety in Europe will cause widespread confusion and have a potentially devastating impact on the industry in Britain. Possible consequences include a reduction in foreign investment in UK nuclear power facilities, the loss of thousands of jobs and Britain losing its place as a world leader in new nuclear technologies. Professor Roger Cashmore, chair of the UK Atomic Energy Agency, told Buzzfeed News the current situation was “alarming” and “a mess”. Although the treaties relating to Euratom are separate to those keeping Britain in the EU, the agency requires members to be under the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice (ECJ), which Theresa May has insisted the UK must withdraw from as part of Brexit. It is unclear how the UK will replace the procedures and regulations currently managed by Euratom. These cover the transportation of nuclear materials around Europe. Britain is a major producer of enriched uranium, which is used in nuclear fuel, and exports much of the material to other EU countries. The UK Government also owns a third of Urenco, the European uranium-enrichment company. Unless new treaties relating to the transportation of nuclear materials between Britain and the EU are agreed quickly, the UK could run out of nuclear fuel within two years, meaning nuclear power stations would be unable to produce energy.
Independent 9th July 2017 read more »
At least nine Tory MPs are on the record to indicate they are against current Government policy to pull the UK out of the Euratom Treaty – the European nuclear safety and cooperation agreement – alongside the European Union. It only takes seven Conservative MPs to turn a rebellion into a majority for the Government and the DUP. Perhaps more relevantly it only takes the concrete perception of that number to prompt plans for reversals, backtracking and U-turns. That is one lunch table in Portcullis House, a large car full, or even a small number of approving comments on social media. That is what occurred on Sunday night, after a joint Sunday Telegraph article from Labour’s Rachel Reeves and the ex-Conservative minister Ed Vaizey, calling on Britain to remain in Euratom, which predates the EU by decades.
Sky News 10th July 2017 read more »
Ed Vaizey and Rachel Reeves: Why we must save vital nuclear treaty with our allies in the EU.
Telegraph 8th July 2017 read more »