Luxembourg backs Austriaʼs suit against Paks nuclear upgrade


Luxembourg supports Austriaʼs case against the upgrade of Hungaryʼs Paks Nuclear Power Plant, Luxembourgʼs Minister for the Environment Carole Dieschbourg was cited as saying by Hungarian news agency MTI on the sidelines of a summit of EU environment ministers in Brussels Monday.   

Speaking with her Austrian counterpart Elisabeth Köstinger,  Dieschbourg said it is important to prevent a renaissance of nuclear energy and that no public money should be invested in the sector.

In January, Austriaʼs environment ministry said Hungaryʼs western neighbor would lodge an appeal with the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg against the European Commissionʼs decision to permit the Paks upgrade. 

"The European Commission is sending the wrong message in energy policy if it approves state aid given to nuclear power plant construction without hesitation," the Austrian ministry said.

The Commission cleared the Paks project, which is being financed with Russian credit, in the spring of 2017. The project is set to double the plant’s nominal capacity, with the first facility set for completion in 2025.

Fielding a question from a journalist at a daily press conference in Brussels on Monday, Ricardo Cardoso, the ECʼs spokesman for competition, said the EUʼs executive body would defend its approval of the Paks upgrade in court.   

"Yes indeed, we of course will go to court and we will defend our decision," said Cardoso.

Research carried out by Greenpeace Hungary in January showed that an increasing majority of Hungarians reject the investment as planned by the government, with most expressing fear over dangers relating to the power plant.


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