IRELAND NEEDS ASSURANCES from the UK that it will maintain the highest safety standards at the Sellafield nuclear power plant post-Brexit, said Fianna Fáil’s Timmy Dooley. Government officials will today discuss the UK’s decision to withdraw from Euratom, an organisation that has controlled the peaceful use of nuclear energy in Europe since 1957. The UK-Ireland Contact Group on Radiological Matters is meeting in Dublin today to discuss the matter, with a second meeting to be held in London later this year. “It is our concern that if the UK is outside the EU agreement that it wouldn’t be bound by the same safety standards that exist at present,” said Dooley. He said Ireland has continuously had concerns about the Sellafield plant and what impacts any incident would have to the Irish public. “They [the UK] have never dissuaded our concerns in any real way, in my opinion, and never really shared or cared for our very genuine concerns,” he said. The group meeting today includes departmental officials and representatives from the relevant regulatory bodies – the United Kingdom’s Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) and the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) and the Office for Radiological Protection. Twice yearly the group meets to discuss a range of radiological and nuclear related issues such as other developments in the EU and the UK new build programme. Updates are also provided by the various agencies on progress made on legacy issues, including Sellafield. Following its withdrawal from Euratom, the UK will now have to strike new deals with over 20 countries both inside and outside the EU that it holds co-operation treaties with on nuclear safety.
The Journal 27th April 2017 read more »