Monday, 2 April 2018

Questioning nuclear orthodoxy

Two letters to newspapers raising  important nuclear issues:

Your correspondent Richard Burnett-Hall (‘Value of Euratom,’ Times letters, Mar 31) asserts that Euratom “is not an EU institution.” This is demonstrably incorrect.Chapter One of the 1957 Euratom Treaty establishing the European Atomic Energy Community, sets out the planned EU-wide ‘Promotion of research’ as follows:

“The [European] Commission shall be responsible for promoting and facilitating nuclear research in the Member States and for complementing it by carrying out a Community research and training programme….” and goes on to state in the next Article “For purposes of coordinating and complementing research undertaken in Member States, the Commission shall, either by a specific request addressed to a given recipient and conveyed to the government concerned, or by a general published request, call upon Member States, persons or undertakings to communicate to it their programmes relating to the research which it specifies in the request.”
Consolidated version of the Treaty establishing the European Atomic Energy Community

All legislation implementing Euratom decisions are published via the European Journal, as directives. For example, the European Council Directive of 8 July 2014 amending Directive 2009/71/Euratom establishing a Community framework for the nuclear safety of nuclear installations. (
Council Directive 2014/87/Euratom of 8 July 2014 amending Directive 2009/71/Euratom establishing a Community framework for the nuclear safety of nuclear installations


The European Commission’s periodical ‘Nuclear Illustrative Programme’ (COM[2017] 237) commonly dubbed the PINC - presented under Article 40 of the Euratom Treaty – most recently published on May 12 last year, demonstrates how the entire Euratom  project is administered fully by the European Commission, stressing: ”The EU has the most advanced legally binding and enforceable regional framework for nuclear safety in the world.” (
2 1. INTRODUCTION This Communication on a Nuclear Illustrative Programme (PINC), a requirement under Article 40 of the Euratom Treaty, provides an overview of investments in the EU for all the steps of

Your first [Guardian] leader on 27 March on the Labour leadership (“Antisemitism is morally wrong-Jeremy Corbyn should show leadership”) asserts that “this latest episode [of alleged antisemitism inside the Labour Party] is not about Israel.”

I humbly disagree.

Many of the protest leaders outside Parliament and their supporters among various Labour MPs are very strongly pro the state of Israel and would proudly call themselves zionists, even though many would not be supporters of the current policies of the Israeli government led by the right wing bigot Benjamin Netanyahu. Many simply cannot  accept the current Labour leader is - and has been for many decades - a strong critic of the policies and actions of successive Israeli Governments.

In a debate in Parliament on the Middle East and North Africa nearly four years ago, Mr Corbyn said: “In the past few weeks, 200 Palestinians have died in Gaza, and sadly one Israeli has been killed as the result of one rocket landing. This is wholly disproportionate. It is a horrible way forward, and the demonstrations around the world show just how isolated Israel is and just how isolated are those Governments who think that they can keep on and on apologising for Israel’s behaviour rather than pressure it to do something different. Such Governments are becoming out of touch with the feelings of an awful lot of ordinary people all over the world.”

(Hansard, 17 July 2014: Columns 348-9WH)
Read the House of commons debates for 17 July 2014 on Middle East and North Africa, ...

In a similar debate nearly nine years ago, Mr Corbyn demonstrated significant international scholarship on the possibilities of Israel playing a constructive geo-political role in the region, stating:

“The Paris summit of Mediterranean countries was held on 13 July 2008, under the co-presidency of the French Republic and the Arab Republic of Egypt and in the presence of Israel, which was represented by its then Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert. It discussed the issue of peace within the region, and said that it was in favour of

‘regional security by acting in favour of nuclear, chemical and biological non-proliferation through adherence to and compliance with a combination of international and regional nonproliferation regimes and arms control and disarmament agreements such as the nuclear nonproliferation treaty (NPT)’"

 (Hansard, 11 November 2009: Columns 93-4WH)

Critics of Corbyn need to give him credit for creative thinking, not jump I on every bandwagon set rolling by those ( inside and outside Labour) who cannot accept his legitimate leadership of Britain’s best socialist hope for a fairer future for all.


It is impossible to understand how Euratom operates without recognizing it is integrated completely into the EU system.

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