Almost 7 months ago, the British citizens did not want to be a part of EU anymore, and in a referendum voted just that, but then even the people who were absolutely for the change are now admitting that the exit will be very difficult. So far the Prime Minister Theresa May has not triggered the article 50. However she plans on doing it in about 2-3 months. Now the expected time after triggering the article 50 2-3 years, but experts suggest that it might take much longer than that.
While Brexit has caused a lot of shock and concern among a lot of circles all across the globe, there are some particular shockwaves being caused that are causing a lot of turmoil and the aftershocks will be felt for years, maybe decades to come. We’re talking about economical, social and technological setbacks that might cause the whole of Britain to suffer great setbacks. It might take Britain a lot of time to recoil from this great phenomenon and that too might not be a complete 100%. So many problems are just waiting there to engulf Britain but they are fighting still. Even the experts fear this change, as Dr. Paul Dorfman of UCL says:” The nuclear industry really doesn’t like it. It’s bad news for the industry, bad news for opponents and critics of the industry as well. It’s a lose-lose situation, whereby the industry becomes less competitive and less safe”, Rupert Cowen, a lawyer who specializes in Nuclear energy had this to say: “Where the UK has current bilateral nuclear co-operation agreements in place, those agreements are predicated on application of the Euratom safeguards within the UK,” he said. “As soon as [EURATOM] falls away it means those jurisdictions cannot operate with us.”
At the same time, trying to make sense of it all while planning for all the upcoming issues like, what would happen to all the expatriates in UK. How will Britain handle the transport in and out of Europe, how the whole procedure of exiting Europe will be carried out. There are so many unanswered questions, important one of them is this; will UK leave the European Nuclear Treaty after Brexit? Well the quick answer is yes. It will have to leave.
European Atomic Energy Community or Euratom was created back in 1957 with the sole purpose of being able to develop and share nuclear energy and to sell any surplus to none member countries of Euratom. Technically Euratom is a separate entity and does not come under the jurisdiction of European Union, but the joining criterion is almost the same. So, why does Britain have to leave it after Brexit? Well the following is a technical look in to the treaty of Lisbon and the TFEU:
1. Article 7, Articles 13 to 19, Article 48(2) to (5), and Articles 49 and 50 of the Treaty on European Union, and Article 15, Articles 223 to 236, Articles 237 to 244, Article 245, Articles 246 to 270, Article 272, 273 and 274, Articles 277 to 281, Articles 285 to 304, Articles 310 to 320, Articles 322 to 325 and Articles 336, 342 and 344 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, and the Protocol on Transitional Provisions, shall apply to this Treaty.
Currently the UK has 15 nuclear reactors and these reactors help produce more than 20% of the countries electric supply. Now this is a lot, and the nuclear ores, and nuclear fuel necessary for UK to continue running these15 nuclear reactors to continue supplying the countries 20 plus percent of the electricity comes from Europe. And that’s regulated by; yes you guessed it, Euratom. It will also leave the Nuclear waste management facilities un checked and un regulated. Especially the Sellafield facility, which is the one of the largest un treated nuclear waste facilities. These facilities are also regulated and managed by the Euratom. So before the exit, the UK needs to pay some attention to its own nuclear authority, Office of Nuclear Regulations. ENR will probably now start getting funding and they will take care of things step by step. But the worst case scenario here is very scary. If the extremely large untreated nuclear waste get tapped in to by a terrorist, or a rogue nation maybe, that might cause so many problems. They don’t have to tap in directly either. All it takes is an employee’s greed kicking in and he can sell the waste on the black market. Plenty of money for him, and perfect bargain as well. This leaves not only Britain but the whole world at the risk of a nuclear attack.
There is still some time before the Brexit get implemented. So UK needs to get into action right away, and make whatever deals they can with the Euratom, see if they can give the surplus to them. or they can try increasing relations with other countries like the United States of America, Japan etc. They would gladly arrange the nuclear fuel, but for a price. The UK will also have to tighten security. Hire new personnel, and start working them in to getting training and handle the work that was previously being done by the Euratom staff and crew. Increase the speed of construction as well like on the Hinkley Point C plan. But whatever the plan, it will hurt the “broader energy strategy” by the UK. The broader energy strategy which requires the retiring of 6 or 7 all current 15 active nuclear plants and replace them with much more advanced reactors. This was supposed to cut down the usage of coal energy and further dependency on it. The UK was supposed to get its electric supply, more than 50% of it through Nuclear energy by the year 2025. SO like we said the broader energy strategy will probably not be implementable, not any time soon anyway.
So the Future of Nuclear energy in Britain faces a lot of trouble up ahead. Only time will tell how it is handled by the government.
Johny Thomas is a professional writer and working with Cheap Coursework Writing Services that is the no.1 UK based academic writing organization.