Brave New Dawn For Post Brexit Nuke Safety – Not Quite!

One of the consequences of the UK Brexit is that the UK Nuclear industry will separate its functions from Euratom that regulates safety standards across Europe in conjunction with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

A year ago UK energy officials were suggesting that the new bilateral arrangements with IAEA would see the nuclear industry have standards set at a higher bar than the current IAEA/Euratom provisions (link – Reuters report September 2017).

However the latest statement from the UK Energy Secretary, Greg Clark MP, is less ethusive and indeed does not talk in terms of higher standards at all. Indeed it talks of making ‘good progress’ in discussions and while stressing that the new arrangements ‘should’ follow the same principles and scope as the current trilateral agreements crucially it says it has notified the IAEA that ‘the UK will be taking legal responsibility for its own nuclear safeguards regime in the long term and started the process of seeking formal IAEA agreement to a new Voluntary Offer Agreement’ (link House of Commons March 2018)

The brave new nuclear safety dawn of a regime ‘exceeding IAEA standards’ does not feature – worryingly given the record of the UK nuclear industry.

Bernard Moffatt

pp Celtic League

May 17th 2018

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