A committee of the United Nations has asked the UK to suspend work on the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station because the UK government has not consulted with European countries about the project’s risks.
The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) said the UK should consider refraining from further work until it has discussed the possible impact of an incident at Hinkley with neighbouring countries including Germany, Norway and the Netherlands.
UNECE said last year that the UK had failed to meet its obligations to hold the discussions under a treaty on transboundary environmental impacts, reports newspaper The Guardian.
The newspaper called the UN request an "embarrassment" for the government, but commented that it is unlikely to derail the earthworks and building of a jetty at Hinkley, which is set to become Europe’s biggest construction site.
A spokesman for EDF, the French state-owned company building Hinkley, told The Guardian: "We have carried out all the environmental impact assessments (EIA) required for Hinkley Point C, including assessing any likely significant transboundary impacts. In considering the EIA the UK Planning Inspectorate concluded there was no likelihood of significant transboundary effects.
"The UK Supreme Court has already rejected a challenge from An Taisce which claimed that the government should have consulted other member states before making its decision on the development."
The UK government has yet to respond.
Image: A render of the planned Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant (EDF)