The EU-UK Agreement for cooperation on the safe and peaceful uses of nuclear energy is the third agreement besides the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement and the EU-UK Security of Information Agreement, which was negotiated during the transition period. It was signed on 30 December 2020, was applied provisionally as of 1 January 2021 and entered into force on 1 May 2021 is applicable provisionally as of 1 January 2021.
It provides for wide-ranging cooperation on safe and peaceful uses of nuclear energy, underpinned by commitments by both Euratom and the UK to comply with international non-proliferation obligations and uphold a high level of nuclear safety standards.
What the EU-UK Agreement for cooperation on the safe and peaceful uses of nuclear energy enables
- the supply and transfer of nuclear material, non-nuclear material, technology and equipment;
- trade and commercial cooperation relating to the nuclear fuel cycle;
- cooperation in the safe management of spent fuel and radioactive waste;
- nuclear safety and radiation protection;
- use of radioisotopes and radiation in agriculture, industry and medicine;
- geological and geophysical exploration;
- development, production, further processing and use of uranium resources.
The Agreement also allows for continued cooperation between the EU and the UK in the European Community Urgent Radiological Information Exchange (ECURIE) or the European Radiological Data Exchange Platform (EURDEP). This will make early notification and reliable radiological information available to EU Member States and to the UK, in case of nuclear accidents. It will also allow rapid, coordinated responses to radiological emergencies by sharing real-time data.
Finally, the EU-UK Agreement for cooperation on the safe and peaceful uses of nuclear energy enshrines a clear commitment by both parties not to reduce their current standards of nuclear safety, as well as a joint commitment to cooperating internationally to ensure the implementation, and promote the improvement of, international nuclear safety standards.