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Britain’s nuclear lobby getting very worried about Brexit

Brexit threatens Britain’s place at the nuclear top table, The UK is currently a world leader in fusion research; leaving Euratom would be calamitous, Guardian, Ian Chapman, Professor Ian Chapman is CEO of the UK Atomic Energy Authority, 16 Jul 17  “…..For decades, the UK has led the world in addressing this grand challenge. The fusion (or sticking together) of types of hydrogen to release energy requires the fuel to be heated to temperatures 10 times that of the sun. The harsh conditions required for fusion are a challenge for even the most robust of materials. International partnership has always been crucial to overcome these challenges; the complexity of the science and engineering and the cost of building large test reactors make it difficult for one nation to go it alone.

Currently, my organisation, the UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA), operates the world’s largest fusion experiment, Joint European Torus(Jet), on behalf of Europe. In so doing, we have acquired unique capabilities in critical areas for fusion – robotic maintenance, material testing and fuel handling to name just a few – enabling us to help UK industry to win contracts on Iter totalling more than £450m already (which could rise to more than £1bn)…..

both the operation of Jet and the UK’s participation in Iter are a result of our membership of the Euratom treaty, an agreement on European nuclear co-operation that dates back to 1957. On 29 March, the UK government declared an intention to leave Euratom at the same time as leaving the European Union.

For the UK, a pioneer of fusion research and development since the 1950s, it would be the worst possible time to take a back seat in the race to develop this transformative technology. …..https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jul/15/brexit-threatens-britains-place-at-nuclear-top-table-euratom

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July 17, 2017 - Posted by | politics international, technology, UK

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