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Dublin: 7 °C Tuesday 21 January, 2020

An Taisce take failed legal challenge against new UK power station to appeal court

The National Trust contends that the building a nuclear station on the west coast of the UK was against international, EU, and English law.

The current plant at Hinkley Point
The current plant at Hinkley Point

AN TASICE HAS been granted leave to take its legal challenge against Hinkley Point C nuclear power station to an appeals court.

The national trust body has argued that the UK government contravened international law by not consulting the Irish authorities before receiving approval to build a new power plant, something which a UN Committee wants to be looked at further.

The two-reactor plant at Hinkley Point in Somerset will be the UK’s first new nuclear plant for a generation. French energy company EDF clinched a €18.9 billion deal to build it in October — once that deal is confirmed next year, the station could be in operation by 2023.

It’s planned that, at full capacity, the two reactors will be able to produce seven per cent of Britain’s electricity, enough to power five million homes.

The High Court in London ruled late last week that “there was no need to consult the public in Ireland in the circumstances”.

Taisce stressed that it is not a discussion on the safety and viability of a nuclear power plant.

“It’s about the public’s right to participate in decisions which could affect their lives,” An Taisce’s Natural Environment Officer and In-house solicitor Andrew Jackson said, “fundamental environmental democratic rights which are underpinned by international and EU law.”

He said there was an important “public interest” element to the case.

Background: English High Court rejects An Taisce challenge against nuclear plant >

Previously: Irish challenge against ‘unlawful’ British nuclear plant starts >

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Nicky Ryan

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