UK and Sweden agree to enhance cooperation in nuclear development

20 October 2023

Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson and UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak have signed a strategic partnership to expand cooperation. Through the partnership, Sweden and the UK further strengthen cooperation on security and defence. The strategic partnership with the UK is a political declaration of intent in line with Sweden’s obligations under EU law. It also applies to a large number of areas where Sweden and the UK see the benefits of increased cooperation, such as innovation, research, green transition and trade and investments.

The nine-page document includes a section on Energy, Nature & Climate Change which says the UK and Sweden will:

  • Work to promote higher international ambitions on climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution and target joint cooperation to limit warming to 1.5?. Actions will include “solutions for security of energy supply, civil nuclear energy, hydrogen in industrial decarbonisation and energy storage, as well as heating and cooling.
  • Remain committed to contributing to international climate finance, on mitigation as well as adaptation. Both countries will seek ways to further mobilise additional private capital to this end.
  • Will advance synergies between climate finance and innovation, technical, solutions and trade and showcase the opportunities brought by the green transition.
  • Will commit to improving access to climate and nature finance for climate vulnerable developing countries by building on their role in the Taskforce on Access to Climate Finance.
  • Will promote understanding of the intrinsic links between biodiversity and climate, and maintain momentum on efforts to halt and reverse biodiversity loss by 2030
  • Will continue to Co-Chair the Forum for International Cooperation on Air Pollution and work together to tackle air pollution
  • Recognise that animals are sentient beings and recognise the benefits of exchanging information, expertise and experience in the field of animal health and welfare.
  • Will collaborate on civil nuclear and renewable energy technology and other research areas contributing to the transition to a green economy. Both countries exchange expertise on sustainable energy solutions and support businesses to facilitate bilateral trade, investment, and cooperation on fossil-free energy sources and security of supply.
  • Acknowledge “the importance of existing and new nuclear energy plants and the potential for new and emerging nuclear energy technologies, including Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) to be developed in shaping the future of the civil nuclear sector and achieving net-zero in accordance with our respective national targets”. The UK and Sweden “will establish a dialogue on Civil Nuclear cooperation, including Advanced Nuclear Technologies. This dialogue will facilitate sharing of learning, insights and experiences on new nuclear deployment, including regulatory cross assessment, financing and funding models, siting, plant operation, nuclear skills and supply chains”. They welcome “recent exchanges, including at political level, acknowledge that fusion energy could be important for long-term sustainable energy supply”. Both countries will explore further opportunities for collaboration on fusion energy
  • Recognise the importance of regulatory exchange in enabling the deployment of SMRs. Both governments support the commitment of the UK Office for Nuclear Regulation and the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority “to cooperate and exchange information on matters of civil nuclear regulation”. Both sides will support, where appropriate, sharing information and best practice in multilateral fora, including the International Atomic Energy Agency and the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency.
  • Will explore opportunities to drive divestment from Russian nuclear fuel supply and support other countries to divest. Both countries agree to support resilient nuclear fuel supply chains for the benefit of our respective fleets, including existing reactors and new build projects.
  • Will look to collaborate to accelerate industrial decarbonisation through dialogue and exchange of experience, including in multilateral fora.
  • Welcome dialogue on cross-border energy issues and offshore energy infrastructure and will explore collaboration on carbon capture.

Image: Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson and UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak have signed a strategic partnership agreement to expand cooperation between the two countries, and will include nuclear development

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