UK and Japan sign nuclear accord
The governments of the UK and Japan have agreed a framework on civil nuclear cooperation, paving the way for UK companies to take on multi-billion pound decommissioning opportunities in Japan.
It also paves the way for Japanese companies to build nuclear power stations in the UK, now that German companies E.ON and RWE have pulled out.
Announced as part of prime minister David Cameron’s first official visit to Japan, the framework also recognises the importance both countries attach to co-operation on wider nuclear issues.
The joint framework, agreed at the UK/Japan summit on nuclear energy, sets out that:
- Both countries reaffirm their commitment to working together in the field of civil nuclear energy, particularly in areas that are mutually beneficial. These include Japanese companies’ technical expertise in new plant design and construction, and the UK’s decommissioning and waste-management experience and technology;
- Both countries will work closely on nuclear safety and share expertise on regulation;
- The countries will share expertise, experience and technology in the remediation, decontamination and decommissioning of the Fukushima nuclear site; and
- An annual dialogue will take place between senior UK and Japan officials across the full range of activities associated with civil nuclear energy.
Speaking at the nuclear summit, science minister David Willetts said: “The cooperation agreement signed today demonstrates the strength of UK civil nuclear research and industry expertise. It will enable British researchers and companies to cooperate more closely with their Japanese counterparts, provide services and share technology.”
Energy minister Charles Hendry added: “The UK has a wealth of expertise and experience in the area of nuclear decommissioning and waste management. I am in no doubt that cooperation with Japan in these areas will bring mutual benefits. This agreement will open up opportunities for UK firms to work with Japanese industry and to continue to share the UK's world-class expertise, just as we did in the aftermath of Fukushima.”
Separately, the Nuclear Industry Association and the Japan Atomic Industrial Forum signed a memorandum of understanding to further industrial collaboration between companies from the UK and Japan.
Pictured below are Mr Cameron and the Japanese prime minister Yoshihiko Noda.
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This article was published on 11/04/2012 (last updated on 12/04/2012).