Austria reinforces position on Hinkley Point

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The Austrian government has reiterated its determination to take the European Commission to court once the approved decision on Hinkley Point nuclear power plant is officially entered into law.

In a letter dated March 30 in reply to a query from Power Engineering International on Austria’s intentions once the decision is published in the EU’s Official Journal, the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management stated it would not be swayed from proceeding with its stated challenge.
Chancellor Werner Faymann
Maria Auer of the chancellery office referred to Chancellor Werner Faymann’s statement on the matter last month, when he said that nuclear power can only be maintained artificially through subsidies and ‘Austria will continue to oppose it by all available means.’

“Atomic energy is not worthy of support. We will therefore, as already stated, lodge a formal complaint against the subsiding of the British nuclear power plant at Hinkley Point C, whether the nuclear lobby or the British prime minister likes it or not,” Faymann said.

The Federal Chancellor had emphasised his government’s opposition to nuclear in a speech on February 11 to commemorate the Fukushima incident. He said: “The only thing that is sustainable about atomic energy is its permanent risk, its permanent costs and the permanent fear it disseminates.”

“The technology is outdated, not marketable and represents an incalculable danger. The catastrophe at Fukushima four years ago gave clear evidence of this.”

The letter to Power Engineeri Rupprechter ng International concludes by referring to remarks made by Andra Rupprechter (left), Federal Minister for the department, who said that the European Commission’s decision on the matter "contradicts the objectives of EU laws on state aid" before confirming that Vienna’s legal action "is currently in progress".

Entry of the judgement in the EU’s Official Journal can take place any time since the start date of March 20, however the decision has not yet been recorded. It is only after publication that member states and other entities can take the step to officially challenge it.

Luxembourg confirmed to PEi last month that it would follow Austria in contesting the decision, while the UK has expressed its fury with its EU colleague for its aggressive stance.

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