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NNWE Calls on UK Government and Industry to Act on Proposal For International Cooperation on Nuclear Energy


16 Mar 2017



Chairman of New Nuclear Watch Europe (NNWE), Tim Yeo, has today called on the UK government and industry to act on a proposed, new international architecture, Organisation for Nuclear Cooperation in Europe (ONCE), to strengthen and expand the ties between pro-nuclear countries and ensure a continued, leading role for the UK in the future development of the nuclear industry.

In a Green Paper ( launched by NNWE at a Parliamentary event today, the nuclear interest group champions the creation of a larger club of pro-nuclear countries, comprising EU member states and other countries bordering the EU. Alongside the establishment and enforcement of rigorous standards of openness, competition and safety, will be the recognition that nuclear energy is an essential element in Europe's response to climate change.

Tim Yeo, Chairman of NNWE, commented: “With Brexit comes Brexatom – the withdrawal of the UK from the Euratom Treaty – resulting in the removal of one of the strongest pro-nuclear voices in EU discussions. Entrenched anti-nuclear countries will have much greater sway once the UK is no longer sitting at the table.

“It is vital that Brexatom should in no way weaken Europe’s commitment to a continuing role for nuclear in the energy mix. Without it not only is Europe’s low carbon future in jeopardy, but also the ability to supply secure and affordable energy, and ensure the continued success of local supply chains.

“The need for new investment in nuclear plant is clear and now is the time to explore a new architecture for international cooperation on nuclear energy. The UK government is best placed to lead on this important matter”.

Brexatom is an additional and unwelcome problem for all those who believe that nuclear is an essential part of the energy mix for many countries. It not only threatens the delicate balance of pro and anti-nuclear countries in the EU, but it disrupts the complex and important trading and other relationships between countries with existing nuclear power plants.

ONCE will compensate for the problems which Brexit imposes on the nuclear industry and create new opportunities for the sector.

Sixty years ago, when the Euratom Treaty was signed neither the threat of climate change nor the urgency of decarbonising the electricity generation industry were understood. Therefore, unlike Euratom, ONCE will include among its primary aims the safe delivery of nuclear energy at a price which is competitive with other low carbon technologies.

NNWE believes the Brexatom challenge requires an urgent response from governments and industry alike.  


For more information, please contact:

Melanie Wedgbury

T: +44 (0)7734 793279



Edmund Gavaghan

T: +44 (0)7714 283858






Notes to Editors

  1. Tim Yeo was speaking at the Parliamentary event, “The Future of Nuclear Energy in Europe Following Brexit”, sponsored by Dr Dan Poulter MP and supported by NNWE.
  2. NNWE was founded at the end of 2014 to help ensure nuclear power is recognised as an important and desirable way for European governments to provide affordable, secure, low carbon energy and help to meet the long-term energy needs of their citizens.
  3. Membership of NNWE is open to all companies, individuals and organisations active in the nuclear industry including those involved in the supply chain. More information is available at
  4. Tim Yeo is Chair of New Nuclear Watch Europe and the University of Sheffield Industrial Advisory Board for the Energy 2050 initiative. He is a former Minister of State for the Environment, Shadow Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, and was Chair of the Environmental Audit Select Committee from 2005-2010 and then Chair of the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee from 2010-2015.


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