Austria Files Suit To Stop Paks Expansion

Austria has once again filed a lawsuit to block another euro block country from building a nuclear power plant. The country, which filed a suit to try to stop Britain from building the Hinkley C nuclear power plant – filed when Britain was a member of the Eurozone – filed a suit Thursday with the European Court of Justice to try to derail Hungary's expansion goals for the Paks nuclear plant, Hungary's only nuclear power plant.

Paks NPPThe complaint concerning both Hinkley Point C and the Paks plant, which will be built, respectively, by French utility EDF and Russian nuclear plant builder Rosatom, were both financial. The complaint concerning Hinkley targeted the British government's pledge to guarantee a price for Hinkley Point C electricity. The complaint filed Thursday focuses on the bidding process for the Paks two-reactor expansion project.

Austria contends that the project should have been open to bidding. Instead, it went directly to Rosatom without any bidding tender being issues. The original Paks power plant was built of Russian design in the 1980s, when Hungary was a part of the expanded Soviet Republic.

Among the troublesome factors in the Paks expansion contract is concern over possible corruption involved in the lack of bidding based on the suspicions that arose after the Hungarian parliament voted to seal documents on the contract award for 30 years. There is no proof of corruption, but the need for secrecy increased suspicions that the process was tainted in some way.

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