The UK government’s intention to leave Euratom alongside leaving the EU was announced just over two weeks ago in the White Paper entitled “The United Kingdom’s exit from, and new partnership with, the European Union”. This has obvious implications for UKAEA - especially the continued operation of JET after 2018 and the UK’s continued participation in ITER.
UKAEA has since received the following statement from the Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation, Jo Johnson MP :
The research done at the Culham Centre for Fusion Energy is rightly recognised as world class and it has driven UK leadership in fusion R&D for many years. The Government has no intention of compromising this position following the decision to withdraw from the Euratom Treaty. Leaving Euratom is a result of the decision to leave the EU as they are uniquely legally joined. The UK supports Euratom, and we value international collaboration in fusion research and the UK’s key role in these efforts.
Maintaining and building on our world-leading fusion expertise and securing alternative routes into the international fusion R&D projects such as the Joint European Torus (JET) project at Culham and the ITER project in France, will be a priority.
The Government is working closely with the UKAEA management and board on ways to achieve this.