Luxembourg opts to join legal challenge to Hinkley nuclear power project

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The government of Luxembourg has served notice of its official legal challenge to the European Court of Justice against the Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant in England, just three days before the final deadline for objection submissions.

Luxembourg will join Austria's legal challenge to the UK's support package for the nuclear power plant after much speculation of whether they would carry through their threat to oppose the facility, as first mentioned in Power Engineering International in March.

Ministry for Infrastructural Development spokespeson Olaf Munichsdorfer confirmed to Power Engineering International, "The Luxembourg government (has) indeed launched last Friday the official procedure and submitted an “intervention request” in order to intervene during the trial supporting Austria."

It backs up a statement by the country's government in July.

Back then, Luxembourg Environment Minister Carole Dieschbourg told the Duchy's parliament, “Further massive sums of public money cannot (be) put into an unsafe and unprofitable technology that will wreck the market price for renewable energy ... If we take our anti-nuclear policy seriously, then we must join this lawsuit.”
Hinkley Point C
The low-key announcement confirming Luxembourg’s intent was released on Friday, just days before the deadline for other states to join is due to expire on Monday.

"They will not make a huge fuss about it as they do not want angry phone calls from Downing Street", Adam Pawloff, anti-nuclear spokesman for Greenpeace Austria, who has been working closely with Luxembourg colleagues on the issue, told the Ecologist website.

"In terms of foreign policy and EU solidarity it is quite a statement for one member state to follow up a legal challenge against another and the fact we are seeing further member states joining shows there is a growing front against nuclear power in Europe.

"It is sending a message to all countries involved in building new nuclear power plants that nuclear is not sustainable - environmentally, economically or socially. We are talking about substantial amounts of state aid are going into this nuclear project at a time when nuclear is in normal circumstances not financeable.

"The support of the action by Luxembourg is a major setback for the nuclear lobby. And it sends an important message to governments, nuclear developers and the Commission as well which approved the package. You cannot allow this kind of heavily subsidised market-distorting nuclear development anywhere in Europe without expecting legal challenges by multiple states."

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