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Licences may be needed to import nuclear materials under Brexit no deal

Published on: Thursday 23rd August 2018

Licences may be needed to import nuclear materials from the European Union if the UK leaves without a deal, according to a Government technical note.

A paper – one of 24 released by Whitehall outlining preparations and scenarios that could play out if no Brexit deal can be agreed before Britain leaves the EU in March – on civil nuclear regulation states that an import licence may be required to bring nuclear material, equipment and technology from EU countries to Britain.

Licences are not required under current arrangements, but the document warns that after March 29 2019 "importers may need to obtain an import licence for imports of relevant nuclear materials from the EU".

It adds: "The UK will engage with importers on any new arrangements that will apply from this date and provide further guidance on these."

On export licence arrangements, the paper says there will be a "continued requirement for operators to obtain export licences for certain sensitive nuclear materials, facilities and equipment".

The paper also confirms that a new domestic nuclear safeguards regime will come into force to replace the current regime provided by Euratom if there is no deal.

The new regime, which will be run by the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR), is not dependent on a deal with the EU and Euratom, the document states.

And the paper says that under EU rules there will be "some small changes" applicable to shipments of radioactive waste for the purposes of disposal, but adds that the Government's policy on accepting shipments will not be affected.

On supply contracts for nuclear material, the paper adds that some will need to be re-approved as a result of Britain's withdrawal from the EU if no agreement is made.

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