After its decision to leave the European Union, the UK also needs to exit the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom) – which would have negative consequences for its plan to build the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station, former German Green Party MP Hans-Josef Fell claims.
Although legally distinct from the EU, Euratom has the same membership, is governed by the EU's institutions, and provides a mechanism for loans to finance nuclear projects of EU member states.
"Great Britain can't fall back upon support from Euratom for the planned new nuclear power station Hinkley Point," Fell – a RechargeThought Leader – says.
"With that, the new nuclear plant project in England should be finally dead and existing British nuclear plants will also come under considerable economic pressure," he claims.
The loss of the 3.2GW nuclear project – hugely controversial in the UK and across Europe – would create a gap in Britain’s energy supply that its critics say renewables would be best-placed to fill.
French utility EDF in partnership with China Nuclear Power Group plans to build three nuclear power plants in the UK at Hinkley Point, Sizewell and Bradwell.
The probably most expensive power project in the world can count on pledges for levels of support by the UK government that exceed those for offshore wind by far, and have been criticised by environmentalists and EU member states such as Austria.
EDF, which is owned by the French state, several times has postponed a final investment decision for Hinkley Point, which according to French media is a sign that the company fears for its own financial stability if it goes ahead with the massively expensive project.
EDF has said since Friday’s referendum vote that the ‘Brexit' vote should not change its plans in the UK.