EU investigation into UK nuclear subsidies

The European Commission has today opened an in-depth investigation into the UK Government's plans to subsidise a new £16 billion nuclear power plant over doubts that the project needs help.

SNP MEP Alyn Smith said:

"It's utterly mindboggling that the UK Government has managed to give planning permission for new nuclear developments and sign a deal with French energy giant, EDF, before they've had state aid approval from the Commission.

"The UK is the first member state attempting to get state aid approval for a nuclear support scheme but the European Commission “has doubts that the project suffers from a genuine market failure”. The UK Government has went about this in such a reckless fashion - if it is found to be against state aid rules the project isn't likely to go ahead at all at whatever expense this will be to the taxpayer.

"This is high risk technology which can have extreme damaging effects and very long-term consequences; the risks of nuclear catastrophe and the effects of that are, quite simply, too much to accept.  It's a sobering thought that if the ancient Greeks had built nuclear power stations instead of the Acropolis we'd still be dealing with the waste from them.

"Instead of building new nuclear power stations, we should be getting rid of them across the world and we should start at home; that's why the SNP has a long-held policy of opposing existing nuclear power and any new nuclear power stations and that's why there will be no more built in Scotland while the SNP is in Government."