UK and Japan extend cooperation in nuclear

23 December 2016

Japan and the UK will expand their existing collaboration in civil nuclear activities - including decommissioning, research and development, and nuclear new build - through a memorandum of cooperation signed yesterday in Tokyo.

Japan-UK MOU - December 2016 - 460 (BEIS)
The memorandum was signed by UK business and energy secretary Greg Clark and Japan's minister of economy, trade and industry Hiroshige Seko (Image: BEIS)

The document states, "Both sides reaffirm to each other their desire to increase commercial and research collaboration, and to develop their strategic partnership in this field, which both sides recognise as of important mutual benefit."

The memorandum covers cooperation on decommissioning and decontamination, research and development, and global safety and security practices.

In a statement, the UK's Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) said, "The UK is a world leader in nuclear decommissioning and waste management, and closer collaboration with Japan will deliver real benefits for both countries in ensuring a sustainable future for nuclear power."

The agreement also covers nuclear new build. It notes that two Japan-led consortia - Horizon and NuGen - are developing proposals to construct new nuclear power projects in the UK. "Horizon's proposed project on Anglesey and NuGen's proposed project in Cumbria could create up to 20,000 jobs in the UK and provide close to 15% of the UK's electricity needs," BEIS noted. "It is also estimated that they would bring around £20 billion ($25 billion) worth of contracts to the UK's supply chain companies."

Following the signing of the memorandum, Clark said: "The potential of this collaboration is to create thousands of highly skilled jobs and create major opportunities for the development of supply chains which can provide British engineering and expertise to the civil nuclear industry around the world."

Japan and the UK have a long-standing history of nuclear cooperation dating back to the 1960s, and hold an annual bilateral Nuclear Dialogue, which has led to extensive cooperation over the years.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News