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Compliance Study: United Kingdom

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Nuclear Safety - Score: 0

"We stress the necessity of further progress in the establishment of relevant domestic legislation and in the enhancement of the international regime of nuclear liability as well as in the preparation of an international convention on the safety of radioactive waste management."

During the last week of April, 1997, the British government sent representatives as part of a group of 20 experts from the G7 to review problems associated with reactor 4 at the Chernobyl site in the Ukraine.

In April, The Nuclear Safety meeting of the G7 and Russia discussed various nuclear safety and security issues.

In a December, 1996 speech, Energy Minister Lord Fraser stated that "...the need for safety improvements in Eastern Europe, Russia, Ukraine and other republics has been an international priority for some time and large-scale financial assistance programs are in operation. There are clearly commercial benefits, and benefits to public safety, in Britain's support for these efforts....The regulatory framework for the nuclear industry will continue to be as rigorous as ever....the Government will continue to take a close interest in the safety, security and prosperity of the nuclear industry, and to help Britain as a whole be a successful and influential player in the international nuclear community."

The British government has begun the decommissioning process for several nuclear reactors throughout the country. The process is designed to secure the granting of a certificate by the Health and Safety Executive declaring that the site is cleared for use. The physical process involves dismantling the reactor and removing waste.

Despite huge financial commitments by G7 countries in the past few years, there has been little increase in Ukrainian nuclear safety and none of the "high risk" reactors have been permanently closed. There have been recent problems in securing international loans to carry out these initiatives.

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