The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

Former boss of BP’s Russian arm is the frontrunner to take charge of Europe’s biggest nuclear waste dump

Rowland Dye HANG ON…DID I READ THE CLEANUP COSTS ARE ……..£117BILLION FFS………The former boss of BP’s Russian arm is the frontrunner to take charge of  Europe’s biggest nuclear waste dump. David Peattie, 62, is being lined up
to run the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA), the state-owned body that manages the vast Sellafield site in Cumbria.

Peattie spent more than three decades with BP, leaving in 2013 to become boss of North Sea oil explorer Fairfield Energy. Unfortunately, the move coincided with the oil price collapse, and Peattie left the private equity-backed company two
years later.

The high-flyer’s imminent appointment reflects Whitehall’s determination to get a grip on the NDA. The authority faces a huge damages bill after a court ruling that it botched the award of the £7bn contract to clean up Magnox sites. It is considering an appeal. The NDA’s £3bn annual budget consumes 25% of the business department’s spend¬ing. The clean-up bill for the country’s nuclear plants is estimated at £117bn.

Ex-BP boss lined up for nuclear job Sun Times 19th Feb 2017

The former boss of BP’s Russian arm is the frontrunner to take charge of Europe’s biggest nuclear waste dump. David Peattie, 62, is being lined up to run the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA)…

February 20, 2017 Posted by | UK, wastes | Leave a comment

Britain has faced 110 nuclear weapon alerts – four times more than the MoD admits

BRINK OF APOCALYPSE  Britain has faced 110 nuclear weapon alerts – four times more than the MoD admits, One incident reportedly saw nuclear weapons accidentally taken to Falklands War on ship carrying Prince Andrew, The Sun BY DANNY COLLINS 19th February 2017, 

February 20, 2017 Posted by | incidents, UK | Leave a comment

Media war against climate scientists – Mail on Sunday (UK) launches new attack

climate-changeMail on Sunday launches the first salvo in the latest war against climate scientists 7 February 2017 by John Abraham

In this new political era, climate scientists and their science are under attack. The attack is from multiple fronts, from threats to pull funding of the important instruments they use to measure climate change, to slashing their salaries and jobs. But there is a real fear of renewed personal attacks, and it appears those fears are now being realized. What the attackers do is identify and isolate scientists – a process termed the “Serengeti Strategy” by well-known and respected scientist Michael Mann who suffered these types of attacks for years.

The author of the recent attack piece, David Rose in the UK, has a history of denying the well-established science of climate change. He has a long history of making incorrect climate change statements. In the attack, Mr. Rose claims that scientists used misleading data in a recent (2015) paper that studied the rate of temperature change across the globe. He reportedly obtained information from someone who works at NOAA to imply that internal review procedures were not followed as the paper was prepared for publication. What Mr. Rose omitted however, is incredibly telling and he does a disservice to his readers.

First, he neglects to mention that the work from the 2015 paper authored by Dr. Thomas Karl and others at NOAA has already been independently verified by other researchers.

The second thing Rose neglects to mention is that his story’s source was never involved any part of the work. According to a colleague of the authors Peter Thorne, this source:

never participated in any of the numerous technical meetings on the land or marine data I have participated in at NOAA NCEI either in person or remotely. This shows in his reputed (I am taking the journalist at their word that these are directly attributable quotes) misrepresentation of the processes that actually occurred. In some cases these misrepresentations are publically verifiable.

Mr. Rose further neglects to mention that Dr. Karl was not involved in the development of the critical sea surface temperature data that was used in the study. That information was already published before the Karl paper appeared.

The attack piece also claims that the scientists discarded high-quality temperature measurements in favor of low quality data. This claim is demonstrably false, as described here and here.

The lengths to which Mr. Rose goes in his attack are disheartening and dishonest. He includes a graph that appears to show two temperature results that disagree. When they are replotted correctly, as temperature anomalies with correct baselines, the discrepancy disappears. This finding shows that the NOAA results from 2015 actually agree extremely well with data from other institutions.

Click here to read the rest

February 10, 2017 Posted by | climate change, media, UK | Leave a comment

Anglesey nuclear power plant – in doubt if Britain leaves European nuclear cooperation institution

Brexit bill prompts Anglesey nuclear power plant concerns, BBC, 7 February 2017 Plans to build a nuclear plant on Anglesey will face big challenges if the UK leaves a European nuclear cooperation institution due to Brexit, according to an expert.

Prof Dr Glyn O Phillips said leaving Euratom would make it difficult to get staff for projects like Wylfa Newydd.

The UK will leave the body if the bill to trigger Article 50 to start the process of leaving the EU is approved……

Prof Phillips, winner of international science awards, said that withdrawal from Euratom “will be destructive to any nuclear work in the UK” as European resources have been centralised at Cern in Geneva, Switzerland.

“They are trying to build a centre now in Manchester, to bring some kind of training but, in the end, all our researchers go back and forth to Cern,” he said in an interview BBC Cymru Fyw.

“If that link is cut and we can’t keep the connection, then I can’t see how we could ever produce the workforce that is vital to maintain the new power stations that they are talking about.”

He said training is “crucially important” to staff the next generation of plants, and that doing so is dependent on “working with other people”.

“I don’t see cutting ourselves off through Brexit bringing any new jobs. It just means that you cannot use other people’s resources.”…….

February 8, 2017 Posted by | employment, politics, UK | Leave a comment

Offshore wind energy coming into its own as a mainstream industry

February 8, 2017 Posted by | renewable, UK | Leave a comment

“Harmless radiation” – the message from Britain’s fake charity Weinberg Next Nuclear

Weinberg Next Nuclear welcomes new Patron January 26th, 2017 Weinberg Next Nuclear, by Suzanna Hinson Weinberg Next Nuclear, the charity !!! promoting the next generation of nuclear energy, is delighted to announce its newest Patron – Professor Wade Allison, Emeritus Professor of Physics and Emeritus Fellow of Keble College. Professor Allison is a leading authority on medical physics, especially the effects of radiation on life……..

In Radiation and Reason (2009) he brought the scientific evidence of the effect of radiation to a wider audience. After the Fukushima accident this was translated into Japanese and Chinese. Nuclear is for Life (2015) is a broad study that contrasts the cultural rejection of nuclear energy with the evidence, at all but the highest levels, for the harmless, and even beneficial, interaction of radiation with life.

Upon his appointment, Professor Allison said:

‘’Fukushima showed that radiation is no threat to life ………

Stephen Tindale, Director of Weinberg Next Nuclear, said:

“Public opposition to nuclear energy on the basis of exaggerated and unscientific fear of radioactivity is a significant barrier to nuclear progress. The world needs more nuclear energy, and addressing the fear factor is a major part of nuclear advocacy. So I am delighted to welcome Wade as a Patron. Wade has immense scientific knowledge and is also extremely well versed in the need for new public communication on nuclear.”

February 6, 2017 Posted by | spinbuster, UK | Leave a comment

British government now being urged to guarantee Moorside nuclear funding

text-my-money-2The Moorside nuclear complex (Image: Nugen)Government urged to guarantee Moorside nuclear funding, text-relevant, 3 Feb 17     The Government is being urged to step in and guarantee funding for a new nuclear power station after Japanese giant Toshiba said it was reviewing its investment in overseas nuclear projects.

The GMB union said ministers should take urgent action to secure the development at Moorside in Cumbria.

The future of the planned £10 billion power plant has been thrown into doubt after Toshiba said it was reviewing its overseas nuclear business.

Toshiba owns Westinghouse, the American-based nuclear developer whose AP1000 nuclear reactors are set to be used at Moorside…… 

February 4, 2017 Posted by | business and costs, politics, UK | Leave a comment

Blow to UK nuclear strategy as Toshiba considers pulling out of Cumbria plant

 scrutiny-on-coststext-relevantGovernment urged to seek new investors to save Moorside project after concerns key partner will leave consortium, Guardian, , 3 Feb 17, Plans for a new nuclear power station in Cumbria are likely to be scrapped after a key backer pulled out, creating a major hole in the government’s nuclear strategy.

Two industry sources close to the process said Toshiba had privately decided to quit the consortium behind the planned Moorside plant, echoing sources who told Reuters and the Wall Street Journal that the Japanese company was withdrawing from new nuclear projects in the UK.

Toshiba said last month it was reviewing all its nuclear business abroad after suffering a multibillion-dollar writedown on its US business. It has promised to provide more details about its intentions when it publishes results on 14 February.

The French energy firm Engie, which is Toshiba’s partner in the NuGen consortium, has long been seen as wanting to get out of the project. Its chief executive said last year the future did not lie in nuclear power……..

“Any potential investor in that project is going to need to have very direct reassurance from the government; even if they are just starting an exploratory period, they are welcomed,” said Tim Yeo, the chairman of the pro-nuclear group New Nuclear Watch Europe.

The former Conservative MP said ministers should even consider taking a direct stake in the Moorside plant. Such an interventionist approach would have been anathema in recent years but appears more credible after recent leaks revealed the government was considering taking a stake in another new nuclear plant, at Wylfa in Wales……..

Moorside, near Sellafield, is a key part of the government’s hopes for a new fleet of power stations to fill the UK’s energy gap in the next decade as coal plants and ageing atomic plants close.

The only one to be approved so far is EDF’s £18bn Hinkley Point C plant in Somerset, which was made financially possible through subsidies to be levied on household bills. The government hopes new plants will be built at Wylffa, Sizewell, Bradwell and Oldbury……

February 4, 2017 Posted by | business and costs, politics, UK | Leave a comment

Europe’s biggest nuclear construction project now hangs in the balance

Endgame for Cumbria’s nuclear nightmare – Moorside or Doomrise? Martin Forwood / CORE 3rd February 2017       The ‘biggest nuclear construction project in Europe’ next to Sellafield in Cumbria is now hanging in the balance, writes Martin Forwood.
With Toshiba fast sinking due to failed nuclear projects, and other members of the Nugen consortium getting cold feet, the project is facing collapse. The only alternatives are a Korean rescue – or making British taxpayers pick up the bill upfront.

The financial fog swirling around the Moorside new-build project in West Cumbria continues to thicken by the day.

The development consortium NuGen must inadvertently have added to the gloom with its recently published statement that:

NuGen’s shareholders [Toshiba and Engie] are committed to the development of the Moorside project.”

Folks with longish memories will recall an identical statement (though with names changed) coming just a few short weeks before the widely predicted departure from NuGen of Scottish & Southern Energy (SSE) in 2011 and in 2013 when Spain’s Iberdrola also pulled out of the project.

Whether the current consortium partners of Toshiba and Engie will survive NuGen’s kiss of death message remains to be seen, but the omens are not good for NuGen or those who support the development.

For Engie itself, on record last December as “trying to abandon its nuclear projects in Turkey and Great Britain” in order to concentrate on decentralized energy and renewables, is the odds-on favourite to be next through NuGen’s seemingly ever revolving doors.

Is Toshiba’s AP1000 reactor finished?

Toshiba, dubbed as “ailing” by the Japanese media and still suffering the aftershocks of an accounting scandal in 2015 that rocked the corporate world, now has to contend with its wayward and wholly owned subsidiary Westinghouse purchased from British Nuclear Fuels (BNFL) in 2006 and which has now landed its parent with a multi billion dollar loss on reactor building projects.

Selling Westinghouse, or lowering its equity stake in the reactor business is an option currently being considered by Toshiba, as is selling off some profitable Westinghouse segments such as its nuclear fuel business which includes the Springfields site in Lancashire.

With Westinghouse and its AP1000 modular reactors selected for Moorside by NuGen in 2014, the turmoil surrounding the reactor builder is set to further undermine the future prospects for the West Cumbrian development.

Toshiba’s decision on the “corrective measures” it intends to take to sort out its corporate mess will not be published until mid-February, but it is widely reported by the international  media that the Corporation will cease taking orders related to the building of nuclear power stations in a move that would effectively mark its withdrawal from the nuclear construction business.

Though it will continue work on the two twin-reactor AP1000 nuclear plants under construction in the United States, Toshiba is reported to be reviewing its investment in Moorside. There is no doubt that Moorside’s future currently hangs precariously in the balance, its survival dependent on  whether or not Toshiba pulls the plug on any further involvement in overseas developments.

Should that be the case, NuGen faces the game-changer not only of losing its main consortium shareholder and its Westinghouse subsidiary (with Engie to follow?) but having to find one or more new partners prepared to nail their colours to a failing new build renaissance on a greenfield site acknowledged as being less than optimum for new-build construction and ridiculously remote from where its output of electricity is needed.

Korea’s KEPCO to the rescue?

One such potential partner whose interest in Moorside has been quietly simmering on the back-boiler for the last few years is South Korea’s Korea Electric Power Corp (KEPCO).

In terms of involvement in Moorside, the company appears to have just two options, the first being to take over some of Toshiba’s stake in the development and thereby help finance the project. Such a move however must surely bite the dust if Toshiba does decide in mid-February that it no longer wants any part of Moorside.

The second and only remaing option is for KEPCO to take on the development itself with or without other partners and ditching the US AP1000 reactors in favour of using its own reactor technology such as its Advanced Power Reactor APR1400 – the first of which, Shin Kori 3 in Ulsan, went on line in South Korea only last year having taken eight years to build.

In turning NuGen’s original plan completely on its head, the adoption of KEPCO’s APR1400 at Moorside would automatically put back NuGen’s current but overly-optimistic projection of a Moorside construction start around 2021 by several years as the South Korean reactor undergoes its Generic Design Assessment by the UK’s Regulators. Such a delay may seem a small price to pay by NuGen whose pet project, without the APR1400, would be facing oblivion.

Yet given its recent history, others may take a different view of KEPCO, which is part-owned by the South Korean government.

For like Toshiba, KEPCO is itself still emerging from a major scandal that surfaced in 2012 involving bribery, corruption and faked safety tests for critical nuclear plant equipment which resulted in a prolonged shut-down of a number of nuclear power stations and the jailing of power engineers and parts suppliers.

Or make the taxpayer finance the project upfront?

Without ‘friends like this’, and in the absence of any change of mind by Toshiba,  it is difficult to see how else Moorside might be financed in the future, unless the UK Government itself rides to the rescue with taxpayers money.

The suggestion, floated by NuGen to a House of Lords committee just two months ago that some of what it described as non-nuclear elements of the project – the local transport infrastructure and the offshore cooling systems – might qualify for Government support.

After a decade of posturing over its West Cumbrian project, that the private consortium now feels the need for taxpayer support for Moorside underscores the extent of NuGen’s financial woes and highlights the unattractive face of new nuclear build to would-be global investors.

Picking the UK taxpayer pocket to support a technology past its sell-by date wholly undermines the Government’s erstwhile promise that the full costs of developing, constructing and operating new-build reactors would be borne by the developer and is not likely to go unchallenged.

Right on cue however is the GMB union’s view announced today that “the sensible thing is for the Government to step in and guarantee the funding, this will keep Moorside on track and push down the price we will all have to pay for the electricity it will produce.”

In truth, the ulterior motive behind the Union’s support for Moorside as a means of ‘keeping the lights on’ is the rank fear that, without the development – and with Sellafield’s commercial operations soon to end,  the decades of West Cumbria’s unhealthy domination by the nuclear industry will be a thing of the past.

February 4, 2017 Posted by | business and costs, politics, UK | Leave a comment

UK government’s work on Small Modular Nuclear reactors (SMRs) has slowed down

flag-UKSmall Modular Reactors NuClearNewsNo92 February 2017  Scotland Engineering giant Rolls-Royce is teaming up with a host of rivals including Amec Foster Wheeler and Arup and nuclear specialist Nuvia to develop mini-nuclear reactors. Rolls Royce believes the so-called next generation technology could text-SMRssupport as many as 40,000 jobs if the industry flourishes. The consortium is entering a £250m competition started last March by the Government, which wants to find the best SMR design for civil use. It is hoped the technology will be more cost-effective than conventional plants. (1) The companies believe SMRs will strengthen the UK’s energy security by reducing reliance on foreign gas imports and smoothing out the impact of ‘intermittent generation’ technologies.

In November 2015, the British government announced plans to invest at least £250 million over the next five years in a nuclear research and development program including a competition to identify the best value SMR design for the UK. Rolls-Royce submitted a paper to the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, outlining its plan to develop a fleet of 7 GWe of SMRs with its partners. Other participants in the UK’s SMR competition include French-owned EDF Energy and its Chinese partner CNNC, Westinghouse and US developer NuScale Power. (2)

In the US NuScale has formally completed its design submission to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The 12,000-page application will now undergo a lengthy review by the NRC, which must approve the design before construction can begin. (3)

According to City AM the Government’s work on SMRs appears to have slowed down, and many companies were expecting mention of plans in the industrial strategy published in January, but there was nothing specific. (4)

  1. Telegraph 8th Jan 2017
  2. World Nuclear News 9th Jan 2017
  3. NPR 13th Jan 2017
  4. City AM 8th Jan 2017

February 4, 2017 Posted by | business and costs, politics, technology, UK | Leave a comment

The costs of Hinkley nuclear project to Scotland

Hinkley-nuclear-power-plantNuClearNewsNo92 February 2017   Scotland and Hinkley A report, called ‘Scotland’s Wind’ (1), by Dr David Toke – Reader in Energy Politics at Aberdeen University and published by the Scottish Greens shows that UK, electricity consumers are set to pay around £16 a year for 35 years to subsidise Hinkley Point C. If Scottish consumers could go it alone their £16 levy could fund almost twice as much power from onshore and offshore wind farms.

The report says:

“If Scottish consumer s money was spent on supporting renewable energy rather than paying for their share of Hinkley Point C … then, even on conservative calculations, nearly double the amount of electricity would be generated from wind power as from Hinkley C”.

The costs of onshore windfarms and also offshore windfarms even on current prices need much less support from consumer surcharges to generate an equivalent amount of electricity compared to HPC. Wind power costs are falling rapidly, with some especially low prices being reported in Denmark and The Netherlands. Under such a programme organised by the Scottish Government the cheapest onshore windfarms could start generating in 2020 and offshore windfarms organised under a new, Danish-style framework, could be online in 2026.

The Scottish Government s own preference for renewable energy over nuclear power lends support to the suggestion that the Scottish Government should be able to use Scottish consumers money to pay for new renewable energy rather than new nuclear power. Moreover the best value for money for Scottish consumers in terms of generating non-fossil fuels is likely to come from the Scottish Government having powers to fund its own renewable energy programme from Scottish consumer bills. This is because the Scottish Government will be able to decide on what contract length to offer wind developers, for example offering to pay guaranteed prices for 20 years rather than 15 years as done by the Westminster Government now with renewable energy. Also, the Scottish Government will be able to organise a much more effective offshore windfarm programme than is being done by the Westminster Government. The Westminster Government’s methods are increasing the costs of offshore wind by leaving too much uncertainty to be dealt with by developers. The Scottish Government could organise a much cheaper offshore wind programme on the lines done by the Danish Energy Agency. This is likely to lead to lower costs and less confrontation in the courts over planning issues than is the case with the current offshore windfarm programme. (2)

In January the Scottish Government published

  1. Scotland’s Wind by Dr Dave Toke 9th Jan 2017 2.

Dave Toke’s Blog 9th Jan 2017

February 4, 2017 Posted by | business and costs, politics, UK | Leave a comment

Far reaching implications of UK leaving Euratom – the nuclear security and information agency

exclamation-flag-UKWe are heading for a senseless nuclear Brexit – with no political or legal mandate
Clare Moody Our nuclear energy, safety and research must not be subjugated to already chaotic Brexit negotiations – the government must put the national interest first
 Clare Moody is Labour MEP for South West England & Gibraltar. 3 February 2017

Last week we learned just how hard and how ill-conceived Brexit looks like being. The two line parliamentary bill published by the government last Thursday contained no detail, no plan, and no check or balance on the prime minister’s possible negotiation as it progresses.

One thing that was included, albeit buried in the explanation notes, is a brief reference to also ending Britain’s membership of Euratom – an entirely separate treaty. The implications of this will be deep and far-reaching for the future of UK’s energy supply, science, industry and workers. There is no political or legal mandate for the UK to leave Euratom, in fact it was barely even a footnote in the referendum campaign, and yet we are heading for a nuclear Brexit.

Euratom matters for the UK. Signed in 1957 as the European Atomic Energy Community, it is a separate treaty from the EU with the purpose of creating a single market for nuclear knowledge and resources in the peaceful pursuit of science and nuclear energy.

Whilst currently its only full members are EU countries, it is in fact a legally separate organisation to the EU. The UK is a leading member of Euratom, and plays host to one of its most important research institutions – the Joint European Torus (JET), based in Culham, Oxfordshire. JET is performing extraordinary and groundbreaking research in the pursuit of fusion energy, and is part of an EU-wide project to deliver on the vision of this revolutionary, safe and clean energy source. On the way, new technologies, materials and expertise are being developed here.

Euratom also provides safeguarding inspections for all civilian nuclear facilities in the UK, including Hinkley Point B, Sizewell and Torness in Scotland. It is the legal owner of all nuclear material, and is the legal purchaser, certifier and guarantor of any nuclear materials and technologies that the UK purchases. This includes our nuclear trade with the United States.

This means that 21% of the UK’s electricity generation is based on our membership of Euratom. It means that EDF can rely on secure supply chains for construction at Hinkley Point C and it is responsible for safeguarding inspections. Whether people are in favour of nuclear fission power or not we can all agree we want it to be as safe as possible, which is why leaving Euratom makes no sense.

Our own regulating authorities are not equipped to take over all of Euratom’s safeguarding work in the UK, and any British scientist will tell you that their work depends on international collaboration that is facilitated by this treaty.

Given this, it is hard to overstate the effect leaving Euratom will have on the UK –and the British people did not give the government a mandate to leave Euratom.

I think this is a bad decision, poorly thought out and with no explanation as to how our safety will be protected. The government must start at some point to put the national interest ahead of narrow party interest and Euratom would be a good place to start. Euratom is a separate treaty and the government should have the gumption to treat it as such – it requires separate and detailed negotiations. Our nuclear energy, safety and research must not be subjugated to the already chaotic wider Brexit negotiations.

February 3, 2017 Posted by | safety, UK | Leave a comment

Britain’s Moorside nuclear project might not go ahead, now that Toshiba is in such a financial mess

This includes the proposed nuclear new build at Moorside, near Sellafield.

Last month Toshiba announced its US subsidiary, Westinghouse Electric, may have overpaid – by several billion dollars – for another nuclear construction and services business. Following this, its shares fell dramatically.

Toshiba confirmed yesterday it is now reviewing its involvement in all other overseas projects as a way of dealing with this situation. It also plans to sell its semiconductor business.

Its president and chief executive Satoshi Tsunakawa said: “Going forward, we will revise the positioning of the nuclear business as our main focus business in the energy sector, and review the future of nuclear businesses outside Japan.”…….

Stewart Young, leader of Cumbria County Council, said: “I would be very concerned if this had any impact on NuGen.

“We will be seeking further information about their position and will be concerned if they is any effect on what would be the biggest single private sector investment that Cumbria has ever seen.”

To compound matters, Toshiba is also embroiled in an accounting scandal and it was yesterday announced that several Japanese banks may be about to launch a lawsuit against it.

A decision on whether to proceed with Moorside is due in 2018……

February 1, 2017 Posted by | business and costs, UK | Leave a comment

Britain’s offshore wind power turns out to be much cheaper than expected

text-relevantUK offshore wind power falls below £100/MWh 4 Years ahead of schedule, REneweconomy By  on 27 January 2017 Cleantechnica

Offshore wind farm (Deepwater image)

A new report has shown the cost of UK offshore wind power has fallen below the joint UK Government and industry target of £100 per megawatt-hour four years ahead of schedule, putting offshore wind on target to become one of the cheapest large-scale clean energy sources

The third annual Cost Reduction Monitoring Framework report was delivered this week by ORE (Offshore Renewable Energy) Catapult to the Offshore Wind Programme Board, showing that the levelized cost of offshore wind has fallen by 32% since 2012, and now sits under £100 per megawatt-hour (MWh), four years ahead of the scheduled target set by the UK Government with the UK’s offshore wind industry.

Specifically, offshore wind projects reaching a Final Investment Decision in 2015 and 2016 were done at an average levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) of £97/MWh, compared to £142/MWh in 2010/11.

The report also highlights that high industry confidence exists for offshore wind’s ability to continue delivering cost savings as a result of technological innovation and continued collaboration across the sector.

Additional key findings from the report include:

January 28, 2017 Posted by | Unc

January 28, 2017 Posted by | business and costs, renewable, UK | Leave a comment

Fake charity (nuclear lobby) The Weinberg Foundation is whining about Britain leaving Euratom

text-weinberg-whinyLeaving Euratom: the government should reconsider, Weinberg Next Nuclear 27 Jan 17   “…….A complex set of negotiations will now have to take place as most nuclear co-operation with the UK relies on safeguards provided through Euratom. It may not be possible to agree and ratify new agreements before Britain leaves the EU in 2019. According to Vince Zabielski, a senior lawyer at law firm Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, “current new build projects will be placed on hold while those standalone treaties are negotiated” meaning possible delays at Hinkley as well as Bradwell, Moorside and Wylfa.

The decision however is not just bad for the UK, but for nuclear as a whole. With the UK one of the last big supporters of the technology, weakening its strength in the field will give power to anti-nuclear camps across the continent.

Weinberg Next Nuclear is very concerned that the departure from Euratom could severely damage the UK’s nuclear industry, with impacts on energy security, industrial competitiveness and decarbonisation objectives. We find no reason why such drastic action needs to be taken. Article 50 deals with the two Treaties of Lisbon: the Treaty on the European Union and the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. However the Euratom treaty is separate, not mentioned in either of the above treaties thus there is no reason for including Euratom in any part of Article 50 debate. As Jonathan Leech, a senior lawyer and nuclear expert at Prospect Law said, “there doesn’t seem to have been any real explanation as to why, because we are going towards the unknown at great speed. Legally we don’t have to [leave Euratom because the UK is leaving the EU],”.

Weinberg Next Nuclear thus urges the government to reconsider and avoid the highly damaging consequences this unnecessary withdrawal could have on the UK’s nuclear future.

January 28, 2017 Posted by | politics, secrets,lies and civil liberties, UK | Leave a comment