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UK firms could assist Fukushima clean up

11 April 2012

The UK and Japan have agreed a framework on civil nuclear cooperation, providing the basis for UK companies to engage in multi-billion pound decommissioning opportunities in Japan. Announced as part of Prime Minister David Cameron’s first official visit to Japan, the framework also covers co-operation on wider nuclear issues.

The joint framework, agreed at the UK/Japan summit on nuclear energy, calls for both countries to 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, and will share expertise, experience and technology in the remediation, decontamination and decommissioning of the Fukushima nuclear site. It is expected that an annual dialogue will take place between senior UK and Japan officials across the full range of activities associated with civil nuclear energy.

Energy minister, Charles Hendry (pictured) said 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.

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