The UK and the US governments are planning to conduct a joint exercise to test the readiness of the government and utility firms to deal with potential cyber attack on civil nuclear facilities.

Planned to be conducted later this year, the exercise will simulate cyber attack on a nuclear power plant.

According to government sources, the exercise was ‘prudent planning’ and is not prompted by any intelligence about threats.

The Guardian quoted the sources as saying: "It gives us the ability to test these systems, and make sure that we learn any lessons."

Separately, the UK will ship 700kg of nuclear waste, which is mostly stored at Dounreay, in Scotland, to the US for processing.

The US, in exchange, will supply different type of uranium to Euratom, the European nuclear agency. The uranium will be turned into medical isotopes, which are used in diagnosing and treating cancer across Europe.

A deal to this effect will be announced by the UK Prime Minister David Cameron at a nuclear security summit planned to be held in Washington, a government source said.

The source added: "It’s an opportunity for the UK, the US and Europe who show how countries can work together to deal with nuclear waste. It’s an opportunity for us to show some leadership to the rest of the world."

Additionally, the UK agreed to improve global nuclear security standards with an investment of more than $14m.

As part of this effort, a scheme will also be launched in countries including Japan, South Korea, Turkey and Argentina to help strengthen their ability to deal with cyber attacks on nuclear sectors.