Austria to sue European Commission over Hungarian nuclear plant expansion

Source: Xinhua| 2018-01-23 02:48:51|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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VIENNA, Jan. 22 (Xinhua) -- The Austrian government announced on Monday that it plans to sue the European Commission (EC) over its approval of an expansion to the Paks nuclear power plant in neighbouring Hungary.

In a statement to the media, Minister for Sustainability Elisabeth Koestinger said the government believes there are sufficient grounds for a lawsuit seeking an annulment of the EC resolution approving the expansion, made last March.

Under the plan, Hungary would add two new reactors, doubling the power capacity of the Paks plant.

Koestinger said it is a "wrong signal" from the EC if it classifies subsidies for the building of nuclear power plants as harmless.

The proposed lawsuit had also been examined carefully in the past weeks, she noted.

In later comments to the Austria Press Agency, the minister said nuclear power is "not a sustainable form of energy and also no answer to climate change".

"We will fight for this position," she added.

A further key point of the issue is whether support for the plant expansion is in the "common interest" of other European Union member states. With many either producing no nuclear energy or planning to stop production, it is questionable whether the construction of new nuclear reactors is in such common interest, the minister said.

Austria has a long-standing opposition to nuclear power, and last year already made clear its intentions to oppose the Paks expansion.