9 May (NucNet): US president Donald Trump has sent to Congress for review a bilateral agreement for peaceful nuclear energy cooperation, known as a Section 123 agreement, between the US and the UK.
The Washington-based nuclear energy lobby group the Nuclear Energy Institute said if the new agreement is passed it will establish US-UK nuclear cooperation independent of the UK’s membership of the Euratom treaty.
The UK has said it will leave Euratom when it quits the EU on 29 March 2019. Euratom covers issues such as the transport of radioactive materials, including those used in medical treatments and in nuclear power stations.
The NEI said that because the UK has announced significant plans to develop new nuclear plants in the years ahead, including possibly small modular reactors, a new Section 123 agreement is critical for US nuclear exports and American jobs.
Dan Lipman, vice-president of suppliers, new reactors, and international programmes at the NEI, said the UK government’s decision to invest in new nuclear power generation is based on recognition that nuclear energy is a clean, reliable and emissions-free energy source that reduces the nation’s reliance on imported fossil fuels.
Mr Lipman said: “The UK government’s ambitious development plans have made it the most important nuclear technology export market after China, according to a US Department of Commerce report, making the Section 123 agreement welcome news for US firms.”