11th July 2018 | Posted by: Daniel Birkett | Industry News

The UK is set to launch a consultation to create new nuclear safeguards ahead of Brexit.

The government has made a number of proposals to create a new nuclear safeguard plan which would come into action when the UK leaves the EU. The Safeguards hope to support the nation’s nuclear industry which could come under jeopardy when the UK exits the European nuclear power market (Euratom).

The consultation would outline regulations which adhere to the Nuclear Safeguards Act which was approved last month by parliament.

The regulations would focus on the UK’s exit from Euratom and outline guidelines on the technical requirements of storage and generation facilities, inventories of nuclear stocks and how data should be recorded.

Richard Harrington, Business and Industry Minister said: “The Nuclear Safeguards Act is one of the first pieces of legislation to go through Parliament in preparation for EU exit and is yet another major milestone in our work to prepare the civil nuclear industry for Euratom exit, ensuring continuity from day one.

“We are setting out proposals for the detail of our own UK framework for safeguards, demonstrating our readiness for EU exit.”

However, the proposals have met opposition from some quarters, with the National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) requesting that the UK abandon nuclear power and invest more in renewable sources.

The Commission claims that Brexit provides a ‘golden opportunity’ to make the country more environmentally friendly, while lowering costs for consumers.

The NIC proposes that only one more nuclear power plant should be developed before 2025, after the construction of Hinkley Point C, as a renewable low-carbon power system could be cheaper and a safer long-term strategy according to its National Infrastructure Assessment.

Currently 30% of the UK’s electricity is generated from green sources but if the necessary steps are taken this figure could rise to 50% by 2030.