BRITAIN’S electricity supply could be hit if the Government leaves Euratom without new measures being put in place, a leading industry body has warned. There could also be a “significant potential impact” on the new £18 billion Hinkley Point nuclear power plant, according to the Nuclear Industry Association (NIA). Chief executive Tom Greatrex said the “clock is ticking” for ministers to determine the UK’s future relationship with Euratom, which oversees nuclear safety in Europe. The Government has faced cross-party criticism over its decision to withdraw from Euratom as part of Brexit. This week a Lords committee will grill industry experts on how Brexit will affect the UK energy supply, with questions over continued access to the EU’s internal energy market and Britain’s ability to influence future policy. Much of the maintenance work on Britain’s existing fleet of nuclear reactors takes place when parts are shipped to Europe. Mr Greatrex also said the NIA had made specific representations to ministers about the potential impact on Hinkley Point, which is now being built by state-controlled French energy firm EDF. “I think the first nuclear concrete is due to be late 2019, so you can see that the timings could make this potentially difficult,” he said. “So EDF have to be able to plan around the implications of leaving Euratom, if that’s what they’re going to be doing, and that’s why having clarity about what those arrangements are and what transition period there might be and what succession arrangements they are intending to put in place becomes quite important in their planning processes pretty soon. “You can’t have a situation where they don’t know until January 2019, without there being a quite significant potential impact on that project and on other new build projects as well.” Ministers have previously said they could pay EDF billions of pounds in compensation over Hinkley Point, including over a so-called “political shut down”.
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