Austria to Sue the EU for Authorizing the Expansion of Hungarian Power Plants
Austrian Chancellor, Christian Kern announced that their country will sue the European Commission for authorizing the expansion of the Paks nuclear power plant in Hungary.
The Austrian government will take the case to the European Court of Justice, where it will petition to rescind the decision.
Elizabeth Köstinger, Federal Minister of Sustainability, specified Austria’s concern; “EU assistance is only permissible when it is built on common interest. For us, nuclear energy is neither a sustainable form of energy supply, nor is it an answer to climate change”.
Last March, EU state aid regulators approved of Hungary’s plan to build two new reactors with the support of Rosatom, the Russian nuclear power company, and with a 10 billion Euro loan from the government of Russia.
The two new reactors will double the plant’s capacity of 2,000 megawatts. Construction of the reactors is set to start this year, with an expected completion of the first reactor by 2025.
In support of the project, Hungarian Prime Minister, Orbán, said, “The Paks nuclear plant is the guarantee for providing a cheap, reliable and safe supply of electricity to Hungarian people and businesses.” He also confirmed that the Hungarian government will follow through with its plans.
The deadline to file a suit against the EU Commission’s decision at the European Court of Justice is February 25. However, in a majority of cases, the EU Court in Luxembourg has ruled in favor of the Commission.
This is not the first time that Austria has launched a legal action against the European Commission. In 2015, it sued the European Commission for approving of Britain’s 16 billion pound ($22.24 billion) plan to upgrade its Hinkley Point nuclear power plant.