Austria to sue if European Commission gives clearance to UK’s Hinkley Point nuclear plant

5 October 2014 (Last Updated October 5th, 2014 18:30)

Austria plans to sue the European Commission if it gives clearance to the £16bn Hinkley Point nuclear power plant in the UK.

HinkleyPointCoast

Austria plans to sue the European Commission if it gives clearance to the £16bn Hinkley Point nuclear power plant in the UK.

Almost 25% of the EU policymakers oppose the deal to pay a guaranteed price of £92.50 per megawatt hour for the power produced in the plant to EDF and its partners for 35 years once the first reactor goes on line.

This price is almost two times the existing wholesale power price.

A vote on this issue is expected on Wednesday.

The project, to be built by French utility EDF at Hinkley Point, will enable the UK to shift away from coal-fired plants to nuclear plants for power generation in order to avoid future power shortages as old facilities are retired.

"Alternative forms of energy are worthy of subsidies, not nuclear energy."

In a letter to the European Commission's president Jose Manuel Barroso, Austrian chancellor Werner Faymann and vice-chancellor Reinhold Mitterlehner stated that Austria would resort to legal action if the project is given an official approval by the Brussels.

Reuters reported Faymann as saying: "Should the EU Commission undertake this step, then it must expect a lawsuit at the highest court.

"Alternative forms of energy are worthy of subsidies, not nuclear energy."

Mitterlehner said: "Hinkley Point ... would set a negative precedence to open this type of subsidy for nuclear energy. The EU-Commission must prevent this, if not, it must expect a lawsuit from Austria at the European Court of Justice."


Image: The Hinkley Point nuclear power station. Photo: courtesy of Richard Baker.

Energy