Euratom, a Fresh Start for the UK

Energy & Transport
Tuesday, July 18, 2017
Jon Stanley

There is something very odd about how the drama over Euratom is unfolding. This is based on a profound ignorance of what nuclear technology involves.

Put simply. Uranium atoms pulled apart create a lot of energy and a bit of radioactive ash.

If we release all that energy instantly we have a bomb.

If we release it very slowly we have sustainable power.

If we harvest that ash we have very useful radioisotopes for medicine and industry.

That's it. Different reactors are designed for different things. We only have power reactors a n the UK.

All of the technical aspects that including trade is governed by Euratom. Before we joined the EU we had our own stand alone agency called UKAEA.

We have made radioisotopes in the past. Canada Argentina South Africa all do this now.

Six out of eight major partner's in the ITER project are outside Euratom. All have their own agency and have a blossoming reactor development pipeline too.

We British surrendered the lot. Our industry has been almost destroyed by green activists and pithy centrists who lack vision.

The UK could build its own isotope producing reactor at Sellafield.

The UK could junk Hinkley Point C and return to fast reactor and gas cooled reactors that are safer and more efficient.

We could lead fusion research at ITER through our own JET and funding research with aid money. The third world needs tech more than anything.

All this is possible post Brexit. Not a single party has shown it believes in the UK enough though.

In this case staying in Euratom is the best bet. We either need to rebuild UKAEA into the engine for national renewal or stick with what we have.

We cannot operate research and new build reactors without an agency that is world class.

We must choose