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European States anxious about Britain’s ‘nuclear revival’ in Hinkley project

Romandie 5th Oct 2017, [Machine Translation] Luxembourg on Thursday said it feared “unfair
competition” between nuclear and renewable energies, on the occasion of the
examination by European justice of the complaint lodged by Austria and the
Grand Duchy against the payment of public aid for the Hinkley Point plant.

“We want to avoid this nuclear renaissance because all this public money
will be blocked and will not be able to go into energy efficiency and
renewable,” explained to the press at the end of the hearing the Luxembourg
Minister of the Environment, Carole Dieschburg. The arguments of the
representatives of Austria and the European Commission on the United
Kingdom aid measure at Unit C of the Hinkley Point nuclear power plant were
held before the EU Court in Luxembourg on Thursday.

Support for the Republic of Austria, Luxembourg continued for ten minutes. For the Grand
Duchy, the outcome of the dispute will have an influence on the direction
of the EU’s energy policy. “Subsidizing could set an important precedent
and give the green light to a new model of state nuclear financing in
Europe,” Dieschbourg said.

“For us, the important thing is to avoid a
nuclear revival,” she insisted. At the heart of the dispute is the decision
of the European Commission in October 2014 to validate the price support
mechanism provided by London, which is deemed compatible in Brussels with
EU rules. Backed by Luxembourg, Austria filed an appeal on 6 July 2015
against that decision. This mechanism, also known as the “offset gap
contract”, guarantees stable revenues to the operator of the Hinkley Point
nuclear power plant, in this case EDF, for a period of 35 years.

In addition to the procedure initiated by Austria, Greenpeace Energy also
brought an action for annulment against the same decision of the European
Commission.

In collaboration with Areva and the Chinese companies CGN China
General Nuclear and CNNC China National Nuclear Corporation, EDF is building
a new nuclear power plant with two reactors in Hinkley Point, southwest
England, in March, a controversial an estimated cost of about 21 billion
euros. By 2025, the plant will produce 3.300 MWh of electricity, the
largest single-station power plant in the United Kingdom and 7% of total UK
electricity generation.
https://www.romandie.com/news/850062.rom

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October 6, 2017 - Posted by | EUROPE, opposition to nuclear, politics international

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