The Austrian legal challenge lodged yesterday against the Hinkley Point nuclear power plant in the UK is “doomed to fail” according to Britain’s union for nuclear workers.

The GMB union wants the UK government to join forces with the European Commission to see off the challenge to Hinkley Point (click here for full story), which EDF wants to build alongside existing nuclear reactrs in Somerset, England.Artist's impression of Hinkley Point C

Gary Smith, the GMB’s National Secretary for Energy, said: “The Austrian legal challenge is almost certainly doomed to fail and will not stop this much needed power station being built.”

He said the Austrian action “is more about playing to a domestic audience rather than a serious challenge to stop new nuclear in the UK”.

Smith explained that the GMB appreciates that Austria “has historically been opposed to nuclear power” and added that “following Chernobyl, we understand that there were fears about other then Eastern Bloc reactors close to their border”.

And he added: “Of course the anti-nuclear lobby in the UK will welcome the challenge, hoping it will help their policy of trying to suffocate investment. The UK government should pledge to join with the European Commission to see off the legal challenge. We understand they could co-join the case and throw their weight behind the case for state aid and we call on them to do so.”

Smith said “billions of pounds of investment in jobs and the future of low carbon electricity is at stake. We need to get on with the construction of this station as there is no requirement to await the outcome of the case.”