The Austrian government has lodged a formal objection to the UK’s plans to develop a new nuclear power plant at the Hinkley Point site in Somerset.
According to the Austrian government’s environmental agency Umweltbundesamt, its experts believe that the plans for the new reactor do not provide the necessary guarantees to protect the public from a serious nuclear accident. The Vienna agency’s 39-page submission concludes that the environmental impact assessment of the proposed Hinkley reactors “does not permit a meaningful assessment of the effects of conceivable accidents”. According to the Umweltbundsamt, the UK goverment’s claim that the risk of a large release of radioactivity has been practically eliminated “is not sufficiently demonstrated”.
In their submission to the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change, the Austrian authorities say that the documents lodged with the UK government by the French company EDF, which is to construct the plant, do not cover all the potential risks, and do not discuss the possible effects of a catastrophic failure.
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