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UK will be outside nuclear accident liability regime


From Dr Paul Dorfman, University College London, UK

1 Feb 2017

Sir, Tom Greatrex (Letters, January 31) says that the UK quitting the European nuclear safety regime Euratom won’t impact on our nuclear safety. I find it hard to share his optimism. This is because we will not be part of the new EU nuclear accident liability regime — which will be €2.5bn per accident. Given current UK nuclear accident liability cover is a meagre £164m, one wonders how we remain better protected?

UK nuclear groups whinging like F&^K!! UK Government tries to defend itself against nuclear compensation claims regardless!

The pro nuclear organisations are panicking and showing symptoms of Brexitphobia (such as whining) as the UK prepares to withdraw from Euratom Treaty and are pulling out all the stops to reverse the situation. In the article below from the Weinberg Next Nuclear Foundation they even claim that leaving Euratom is not necessary even if the UK commits to Brexit. Research foundations and even anti nuclear assessments are included in their press release below.

The question is why is the UK are leaving the treaty? One reason could be that according to the new EU radiation protection legislation just being enacted by the German Government which rolls all the present legislation into one law and next year it will include making parts of the Euratom treaty Legal and binding.

A second point to note is that a new “Medical Physics Expert” (MPE) position has been accepted and that this will be an expert who will have cross boundary recognition which means that a German, Italian etc Expert  checking out the UK`s compliance with the provisions of all new EU nuclear regulations (and Vise Versa).

Thirdly by withdrawing from Euratom and the EU, there is another treaty that the UK is being recently queried about called ESPOO (The cross border contamination treaty). The UK is being asked to explain itself by Norway and some other countries in relation to the nuclear reprocessing plant Sellafield and the UK`s new nuclear builds. [ I will leave copy and pastes to the links to the ESPOO treaty regulation and MPE issues under the Weinberg panicking  article].

Given all the above it would seem that the UK has some secrets to hide and pulling out of these treaties would be to its advantage (The ESPOO treaty 1991 states that non EU state members need not fulfill the requirements).

When we consider the moves by UK experts to minimise the threat of radiation allowing 100 mSv/y instead of the normal 1 mSv/y because of the risk of legal actions against UK nuclear contaminated sites and interests in Japan (after the Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011) etc, we should consider this to be a defensive move against litigation, such as the British Nuclear Test Veterans legal challenges where foreign experts were dismissed out of hand by the UK supreme court  (The report was released a week before Christmas day) and the same battle is being fought over the increased Thyroid cancer cases in Japan (That the UK experts are supporting the “no damage due to radiation” defense).

It is interesting that the UK will risk research funding for the new reactor in Oxford etc to save itself (and the Japanese government) against the possibility of massive compensation damages. The UK is presently using its expert Geraldine Thomas to reduce the thyroid cancer checks in Fukushima prefecture and stopping the expansion of these tests to surrounding prefectures just when an increase is likely to be found and Japanese experts are rallying against this move by the Japanese and UK government experts. Another one of tne of the defenses for their position is the Radiophobia argument that has been debunked by many independent radation experts in articles and papers (reference WHOi the Independent World health Organisation for instance).

Lastly, the European commission is challenging tender procedures for renewables and gas energy sources and Euratoms right to overide this aspect of EU regulation (reference search terms on Euratom Belarus Hungary commission in the website for updated information). And of course the EURATOM considerations on health effects is being challenged because of new scientific evidence that has come to light (re-justification of Euratom link below).

Arclight2011 aka Shaun McGee

February 1, 2017 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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