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Saturday 23rd
posted by Peter Lazenby in Britain

GREEN energy campaigners revealed plans yesterday for legal action against government subsidies for construction of the third Hinkley Point nuclear power station.

Protracted negotiations over the financing of the Somerset power station, which will be built by China and run by French state-owned energy producer EDF, have failed to result in a final plan for the station.

The project will cost at least £18 billion.

Now green energy campaigners say that any government financing of the project will need the approval of the European Commission or face legal action.

Environment campaign group Greenpeace and green energy company Ecotricity raised the prospect of lodging a complaint at the commission which they said would trigger an investigation.

“The only way Hinkley can be kept alive is on the life support machine of state aid,” said Greenpeace UK executive director John Sauven.

“EDF, if it is to stay in business, needs a new vision which is not looking backwards.

“The UK government needs to stop penalising the UK renewable energy industry in favour of propping up an ailing state-owned nuclear industry in France.”

And Ecotricity founder Dale Vince said: “Illegal state aid is one thing — and we’ll work with Greenpeace to challenge that if it happens — but it’s not just financial issues. There are technical problems with Hinkley Point too.

“EDF are yet to build one of these reactors and their first two attempts are, between them, 16 years late and billions over budget.”

EDF declined to comment and a final decision on investment in the project is awaited.