Austria to contest EU over Hinkley C nuclear power station development

21 January 2015 (Last Updated January 21st, 2015 18:30)

Austria is planning to mount a legal challenge against the European Commission over nuclear policy, which could delay the UK's new Hinkley Point C reactor.

Austria is planning to mount a legal challenge against the European Commission over nuclear policy, which could delay the UK’s new Hinkley Point C reactor.

In October last year, the European Union gave approval to a £17.6bn subsidy scheme, which would enable the first new nuclear reactors to be built in the UK for nearly 20 years.

As a non-nuclear nation, Austria claims that the EU’s decision to support green energy clashes with the nuclear approval.

Austria intends to sue at the European Court. The lawsuit can be submitted within two months from the publication by the European Commission, which is expected shortly.

"Austria claims that the EU’s decision to support green energy clashes with the nuclear approval."

The £16bn ($24bn) project to be built by French utility EDF Energy at Hinkley Point in south-west England is expected to meet 7% of the power requirements of the country by 2023.

As well as lowering carbon emissions, the new nuclear developments are expected to replace a fifth of the country’s ageing nuclear power and coal facilities, reports Reuters.

Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann was quoted by Reuters as saying: "Austria will sue at the European Court. The lawsuit can be submitted within two months from the publication by the European Commission, which is expected soon.

"The lawsuit will definitely be filed if the decision has not been changed."

The lawsuit, if filed, is likely to delay the final investment decision on the plant.

As a non-nuclear nation, Austria claims that the EU decision to support green energy clashes with the nuclear approval.

UK Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), identified the twin reactor station to be vital for the country’s future energy mix, and can boost the Somerset economy, reports Western Daily Press.