SCOTTISH Secretary David Mundell is under pressure to reveal the consequences of leaving the European nuclear regulator for public safety and energy supplies.

Mundell has also been urged to state what effect it will have on Scotland's NHS, amid warnings that cancer patients could face delays to treatment if there are difficulties moving radioactive material around. The call came after reports about a threat to public safety caused by a UK exit from the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom), which oversees the movement of nuclear fuel and waste through a system of safeguards.

Ministers have said they are legally obliged to leave Euratom at the same time as quitting the EU. However, the GMB union has written to Mundell asking for an assessment of the consequences of leaving Euratom for Scotland.

GMB Scotland Secretary Gary Smith said Mundell must set out the impact a Euratom exit will have on the supply of radioactive material for the NHS. He said the minister must also state what the consequences would be for the nuclear industry in Scotland, including the Hunterston and Torness plants.

Smith, in his letter to Mundell, added: "Scotland is heavily dependent on nuclear to meet our electricity needs. It is now clear that leaving Euratom also has very profound implications for our health services. The NHS in Scotland is dependent on radioactive materials, some of which have to be imported from other European countries. Exiting Euratom could mean that the NHS cannot import radioactive material that patients in Scotland ultimately rely on. Can [Mundell] advise what risk assessments were done around the threat departing Euratom posed to the nuclear industry and NHS in Scotland?

"Most important of all given that there is a growing awareness of the risks leaving Euratom poses what steps have been taken to protect the nuclear industries in Scotland and the NHS."

He added: "We've seen worrying reports this week about the impact of losing Euratom membership on the safe and secure supply of cancer treatments.

"Ministers have claimed treatments 'should not be impacted' but that offers little in the way of assurance for the public and we need to know what the implications on NHS Scotland could be.

"There are profound economic, energy, health, industrial and safety implications in leaving Euratom for Scotland and David Mundell needs to address these concerns urgently."

In response, UK Government officials said a series of nuclear safeguards would be introduced.

A UK Government spokesperson said: “The nuclear industry is of key strategic importance to the whole of the UK and the Government remains absolutely committed to the highest standards of nuclear safety, safeguards and support for the sector.

“We are working to ensure that the UK is prepared for our withdrawal from Euratom which is why we will bring forward a Nuclear Safeguards Bill in the first session and why we want to maintain our mutually successful civil nuclear co-operation with the EU.”