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The 7th of June was a busy day in terms of the nuclear preparations for Brexit. Two significant events occurred:
Firstly, the UK government finalised the draft text of the Nuclear Safeguards Bill. Following the rejection of the original Bill by the House of Lords, the House of Commons has suggested an alternative formulation of the Lords’ proposed amendment. The Bill has now passed successfully through the House of Lords, and awaits Royal Assent to pass it into law as an Act of Parliament. The amendment requires that if all of the necessary international agreements have not been and/or will not be put into place by the end of March 2019, that the UK government must request the European Council to continue EURATOM safeguards until the new agreements enter into force. The date of Royal Assent for the Bill is not yet known, but is a formality, and it is now expected that the Bill will pass into law in its current form.
Secondly, the UK signed a new Voluntary Offer Agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency. Voluntary Offer Agreements are agreements between the IAEA and the Nuclear Weapons States to allow IAEA safeguards to take place in a designated set of facilities chosen by the country. The UK’s new voluntary offer is a first step in preparing a new safeguarding regime outside of EURATOM.
Both of these stories were reported on by World Nuclear News: http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/NP-UK-on-track-with-post-Euratom-preparations-11061801.html