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03.11.2017_No220 / News in Brief

UK Could Experience Difficulties In Recruiting Nuclear Inspectors, BBC Says

Policies & Politics

3 Nov (NucNet): The UK government may not be able to guarantee the country will have enough nuclear inspectors when it leaves the European Union, according to BBC. The UK Office of Nuclear Regulation (ONR) has recruited four new safeguards inspectors but needs more time to fill the specialised roles, BBC said. Nuclear minister Richard Harrington was quoted by BBC as telling the UK parliament’s business committee that the UK had "plenty of time" to recruit the necessary staff, but BBC said he did not commit to a firm guarantee. The UK government introduced a bill to Parliament on 11 October 2017 that seeks to establish a domestic nuclear safeguards regime following Brexit. The government said the Nuclear Safeguards Bill will bolster the roles and responsibilities of the ONR once the UK leaves Euratom, which oversees the movement of nuclear materials across Europe. Mr Harrington confirmed the UK was committed to leaving Euratom at the same time as leaving the EU in March 2019. BBC also quoted Mina Golshan, deputy chief inspector at the ONR, as saying that she was confident the UK would continue to meet its international safeguarding obligations after that date, but the ONR would need at least another two years to set up a custom-made domestic safeguarding regime. According to Ms Golshan, the biggest problem was recruiting new safeguards inspectors from a "limited pool of expertise". "To get to a point where we can deliver a regime by 2019 we need 10 to 12 additional inspectors and for us to be able to be up and running by two years after that probably around 20 to 25 inspectors", Ms Golshan told the parliamentary committee. Full story: http://bbc.in/2irfQTy

Related reports in the NucNet database (available to subscribers): Brexit: UK Government Introduces Nuclear Safeguards Bill To Parliament (News in Brief No.204, 12 October 2017)

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