UK Government to drop plans to leave Euratom treaty

UK-based union Prospect has called upon the government to withdraw its plans to leave the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom) treaty that deals with the movement of nuclear materials.

The government has also been urged to pay attention to evidence that suggests leaving Euratom would be damaging to the nuclear and medical industries.

Prospect general secretary Mike Clancy said: “It is now clear that a hasty retreat from Euratom would be damaging to the UK. The risks to the National Health Service (NHS), British nuclear sector, and high-skilled jobs in the industry are too great for the government to get this wrong.

“The UK is a world leader in nuclear technology, research, and engineering. Our highly skilled workforce is the envy of the world. That reputation is now on the line over Euratom.

“Ministers need to listen to their own MPs and step back from the cliff edge now.”

In addition, Prospect has urged the government to ensure the UK’s ability to trade legally in nuclear materials. It recommends the government supports new builds and develops comprehensive nuclear sector deals, as well as reactivates the small modular reactor competition.

According to Prospect, the government should address the skills challenge by assessing workforce requirements and streamlining training programmes.

The union also supports the creation of an independent UK nuclear champion with adequate resources and the authority to act.