Austrian legal challenge over controversial EU subsidies for Hinkley Point C casts doubt over future of UK’s first planned nuclear reactor in 20 years
Austria is to launch a legal challenge against the European Union’s (EU) decision to allow billions of pounds of subsidies for Hinkley Point C, casting fresh doubt over the UK’s first planned nuclear reactors in 20 years.
In October, the EU approved the controversial £17.6bn subsidy deal for the power station, which is expected to provide 7% of the UK’s electricity by 2023. David Cameron had previously hailed the subsidy deal between the French state-owned EDF and the UK government as “a very big day for our country”.
But the appeal by Austria, a non-nuclear nation, will be launched by April and could delay a final investment decision by the UK government for over two years.
The Guardian understands that Luxembourg is very likely to support the case in the European court of justice, arguing that the UK’s loan guarantees – over a 35-year period – constitute illegal state aid. Another EU country may follow suit.
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