NIA comment on European Commission position paper on nuclear materials and safeguard equipment (Euratom)
Tom Greatrex, Chief Executive of the Nuclear Industry Association has commented on the European Commission position paper on nuclear materials and safeguard equipment.
The European Commission’s latest position paper on Euratom highlights just some of the issues the government’s decision to withdraw from the Treaty has created. The complexity of the issue is clear from the paper and while resolving safeguarding matters and the ownership of fissile nuclear material before March 2019 is a critical one, it is just the first of a series of issues that must be resolved.
In parallel with this intricate negotiation, the government needs to establish a new UK safeguarding regime, replicate the current trading arrangement with the Euratom Community, ratify new Nuclear Co-Operation Agreements with key nuclear markets outside of Euratom, establish a new funding regime for the UK to continue its involvement in world-leading nuclear research and development, and ensure the mobility of nuclear specific skills to and from the UK.
The Commission makes it clear that the UK will not be part of Euratom “on the date of withdrawal” from the EU. The clock is ticking and there is still time for the government to review their exiting Euratom position and explore the alternative options available, including associate membership or at the very least a transitional period to avoid the cliff edge scenario both the government and industry want to avoid.