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Confusion and anxiety over UK’s withdrawal from Euratom as part of Brexit

Bridgwater Mercury 6th Sept 2017, BRITAIN’S electricity supply could be hit if the Government leaves Euratom
without new measures being put in place, a leading industry body has
warned. There could also be a “significant potential impact” on the new
£18 billion Hinkley Point nuclear power plant, according to the Nuclear
Industry Association (NIA). Chief executive Tom Greatrex said the “clock is
ticking” for ministers to determine the UK’s future relationship with
Euratom, which oversees nuclear safety in Europe.

The Government has faced cross-party criticism over its decision to withdraw from Euratom as part of
Brexit. This week a Lords committee will grill industry experts on how
Brexit will affect the UK energy supply, with questions over continued
access to the EU’s internal energy market and Britain’s ability to
influence future policy.

Much of the maintenance work on Britain’s existing
fleet of nuclear reactors takes place when parts are shipped to Europe. Mr
Greatrex also said the NIA had made specific representations to ministers
about the potential impact on Hinkley Point, which is now being built by
state-controlled French energy firm EDF. “I think the first nuclear
concrete is due to be late 2019, so you can see that the timings could make
this potentially difficult,” he said. “So EDF have to be able to plan
around the implications of leaving Euratom, if that’s what they’re going to
be doing, and that’s why having clarity about what those arrangements are
and what transition period there might be and what succession arrangements
they are intending to put in place becomes quite important in their
planning processes pretty soon.

“You can’t have a situation where they don’t know until January 2019, without there being a quite significant
potential impact on that project and on other new build projects as well.”
Ministers have previously said they could pay EDF billions of pounds in
compensation over Hinkley Point, including over a so-called “political shut


September 9, 2017 - Posted by | politics international, UK

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