UN asks UK to suspend work on Hinkley nuclear plant

A United Nations Committee has asked the UK to suspend work on the Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant in Somerset. The UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) requested the […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

A United Nations Committee has asked the UK to suspend work on the Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant in Somerset.

The UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) requested the halt because of the UK Government’s failure to consult with European countries over the project.

It comes after the UN last year said the UK failed to discuss the possible impact of an incident at Hinkley on neighbouring countries.

French utility EDF won approval to build the £18 billion nuclear plant last year, following which a deal was signed with the UK Government and Chinese firm CGN, which is also investing in the project.

The UNECE states the government should wait until it has heard back from Member States on whether it would be helpful for them to be formally notified under a treaty on transboundary environmental impacts.

The UK Government said the Environment Agency and Office for Nuclear Regulation independently assessed the station design of the nuclear power plant for safety, security and environmental impact before granting approval.

A spokesperson from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) added: “The project will continue to be subject to robust regulation from these bodies and it will have no significant effect on the environment of any other country.”

EDF said the UK Supreme Court has already rejected a challenge from the Irish National Trust, which claimed the government should have consulted other Member States before making its decision on the Hinkley development.

A spokesperson added: “We have carried out all the environmental impact assessments (EIA) required for Hinkley Point C, including assessing any likely significant transboundary impacts. In considering the EIA the UK Planning Inspectorate concluded there was no likelihood of significant transboundary effects.”

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