New year brings into force a new U.K.-EU nuclear pact

January 14, 2021, 6:57AMANS Nuclear Cafe

Along with the wider Trade and Cooperation Agreement it signed late last month with the European Union to address post-Brexit realities, the U.K. government concluded a stand-alone Nuclear Cooperation Agreement with the European Atomic Energy Community, better known as Euratom. The NCA went into effect January 1.

The NCA provides a framework for trade in nuclear materials and technology, facilitates research and development, and enables exchange of information and expertise, including on medical radioisotopes.

The 18-page, 25-article NCA is to remain in force for an initial period of 30 years. After that, it will be automatically renewed for additional 10-year periods—unless, at least six months prior to the expiration of the initial period or any additional period, one party notifies the other of its intent to terminate.

An OK from the U.K.: In a statement, the U.K. Department of Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy said, “Reaching such an agreement with Euratom is important for the civil nuclear sector in both the U.K. and the EU. It ensures that there will be cooperation on nuclear safeguards (nonproliferation), nuclear safety, and security.”

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