Letter submitted to New York Times:
Regarding “Plan to Withdraw From European Nuclear Treaty Stirs Alarm in Britain” (July 13; https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/12/world/europe/euratom-brexit.html), this report overlooks the most important element of the British Government plan to quit the Euratom treaty that governs nuclear activities - including nuclear explosive materials - in European Union countries, possibly because the reporter relied solely on nuclear industry sources, for whom this is a highly inconvenient truth.
On July 13 the U.K. Government published its so-called position paper on “Nuclear materials and safeguards issues,”
which includes the key suggestion the U.K. will: “take responsibility for meeting the UK’s safeguards obligations, as agree with I.A.E.A (International Atomic Energy Agency).”
The U.K. government has earlier explained they intend U.K. nuclear security regulator, the Office for Nuclear Regulation (O.N.R.) to take over from the independent safeguards inspectors from Euratom, to ‘self-police’ the British nuclear industry against military misuse.
Just imagine if Iran or North Korea proposed to do that!
It should also be noted that even under the Euratom safeguards regime the U.K has withdrawn fissile nuclear materials, including plutonium, from safeguards on at least 650 occasions since the U.K’s trilateral safeguards treaty with Euratom and I.A.E.A came into force in 1978 (http://www.hse.gov.uk/nuclear/safeguards/withdrawals.htm)
This British proposal puts this N.A.T.O ally of the U.S on track to becoming an atomic rogue state, creating a very dangerous global precedent.