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Septembre 2017 / NucNet

EDF Energy Warns Of ’Significant Concern’ Over UK’s Euratom Withdrawal

20 Sep 2017 : The UK government’s decision to withdraw from the Euratom Treaty is a significant concern for EDF Energy, which “very much relies” on the provisions in the treaty to operate its existing nuclear power stations and for the future construction and operation of two EPR units at Hinkley Point C. Angela Hepworth, corporate policy and regulation director at parent company EDF, told a parliamentary inquiry into energy security and Brexit, that EDF Energy relies on the ability that the Euratom provisions provide to import nuclear fuel, nuclear components and to transfer information from the EU and key third countries into the UK. “We also rely on our ability to draw on international skills and talent both for our existing operations and for our new-build programme, so any disruption in those arrangements could have implications for security of supply,” she said. “For example, if there was some kind of component failure in one of our power stations, and there was any delay in our ability to move components in to deal with that.” Ms Hepworth gave her evidence to the committee on 13 September 2017 and a transcript has now been published. She was speaking the day before the UK government announced it had decided to establish a domestic nuclear safeguards regime which will meet existing Euratom standards and exceed the standards that the international community would require from the UK as a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency. Ms Hepworth said any replacement agreement with Euratom will need to cover things such as the ownership of nuclear material and future trading relations with Europe in relation to nuclear materials. The UK will also need to negotiate nuclear cooperation agreements with key third countries and arrangements for the mobility of workers. “Of course, at the moment there are general provisions for free movement as part of our membership of the EU, but the Euratom Treaty also provides specific arrangements dealing with the free movement of people who are needed in the nuclear industry, including those who are needed for the construction of a new nuclear power station,” she said. “That will need to be addressed.” Ms Hepworth also said the UK will need to find ways of continuing to participate in European R&D programmes. Ms Hepworth’s evidence is online : http://bit.ly/2xmiK4y


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