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UK regulator clarifies role for Nuclear Safeguards Bill

03 January 2018


…..For the UK to fulfill international standards on nuclear safeguards and non-proliferation once it leaves the EU, the existing legislative framework must be amended, with a new regime set out in new secondary legislation, it says. In the absence of amending frameworks and work to implement new safeguards measures, the UK would be without an effective nuclear safeguards regime, it adds.

“This scenario is the relevant counter-factual for policy appraisal given the decision to leave Euratom has already been taken and domestic safeguards appraised here are not dependent on the future relationship with the EU. However, we have also included a counter-factual of ’current Euratom regime’ to compare impacts relative to the current regime under Euratom. The UK’s withdrawal from Euratom has already been triggered so this is only included as baseline for consistency with other EU exit related measures where legislation may be dependent on the negotiated outcomes on future relationship with the EU,” it says.

Two options


Two core options have been considered.

The first is to adopt domestic standards of nuclear safeguards of broad equivalence to those adopted by Euratom, which BEIS says would ensure that sites to which safeguards apply remain subject to detailed oversight and that the UK continues to maintain the highest standards of nuclear safeguards.

“This is the preferred option as it best retains industry, public and international confidence in a robust safeguard regime,” it says. The Nuclear Safeguards Bill, and the regime that we propose to implement through it, will work to deliver this option.”

On the second option, which fulfils nuclear safeguards standards, without replicating Euratom’s standards, BEIS says that all civil nuclear facilities to which safeguards apply would remain subject to a robust safeguards regime.

“This option would however entail a reduction in the frequency and intensity of inspection at UK nuclear facilities, while still maintaining compatibility with IAEA [International Atomic Energy Agency] standards,” it says.

David Wagstaff, deputy director of the Euratom exit at BEIS, told a conference last month that the “parliamentary balance” on the Bill’s passage through Parliament is “quite a delicate one at the moment”. If all goes to plan, however, the Bill will receive Royal Assent early this year, he added.

The ONR and BEIS are working “hand-in-hand” and this project is “going at pace”, with recruitment and IT procurement in process…..

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News

January 5, 2018 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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