A United Nations committee has called on the UK to suspend work on Hinkley Point C until the full environmental impact of the nuclear power plant can be assessed.
The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) said last year that the UK government had neglected to meet its obligations to discuss the potential impact of a future incident at the £18bn Somerset plant on nearby countries.
The commission has now urged the UK to put further works at Hinkley on hold until it has heard back from countries including Germany, Norway and the Netherlands.
”The committee … decided to ask its chair to write to the UK inviting it to consider refraining from carrying out works at the proposed activity until it established whether notification [of development consent] was useful [to other countries],” said an Implementation Committee report.
A spokesman for EDF told The Guardian: “The UK Supreme Court has already rejected a challenge from An Taisce (the National Trust for Ireland), which claimed that the government should have consulted other member states before making its decision on the development.”
The UK government last September gave the go-ahead for the controversial project, which is being financed by France’s state-controlled EDF and the Chinese government.
Data published by Construction News in January revealed that works at Hinkley Point will help the South-west to become the UK’s fastest-growing region in terms of construction activity in 2018.
Hinkley Point C will be built next to two existing facilities, Hinkley Point A and B, and is expected to start generating electricity in 2025.
A joint venture of Bouygues Travaux Publics and Laing O’Rourke this year signed the multi-billion-pound contracts to build the facilities that will house Hinkley Point C’s two EPR nuclear reactors.
A Kier / Bam Nuttall JV was appointed for enabling works.