An Taisce launches legal battle against British nuclear power station

An Taisce has launched a fight to take its case over a new nuclear power station on the west coast of England to Europe.

An Taisce is contesting the legality of a March 2013 decision by the UK's Energy Secretary to grant development consent for the Hinkley Point project in Somerset – around 150 miles (240km) from Ireland.

Its lawyers say there was a failure to undertake ”transboundary consultation” with the Irish people beforehand, as required by the European Commission’s environmental impact assessment directive.

At a judicial review hearing in London before three appeal judges, counsel David Wolfe QC said the court was required to consider the meaning and application of Article 7 of the directive and, in particular, the way in which the British Secretary of State dealt with the potential for significant nuclear accidents.

The UK Government says that transboundary consultation was not necessary because nuclear accidents are not sufficiently likely because of the robustness of the UK regulatory regime.

Mr Wolfe told Lord Justice Longmore, Lord Justice Sullivan and Lady Justice Gloster that the case turned on issues of European Union law on which the court was not going to be able to give a definitive view and the appropriate course was a reference to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU).

The contested hearing is expected to last two days.

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