Commission allows market distortion in favour of nuclear

Press release - September 26, 2007
Brussels, Belgium — The European Commission decided today to close the investigation prompted by two separate complaints by Greenpeace and the European Renewable Energy Federation (EREF) which alleged that the construction of the Olkiluoto 3 nuclear reactor in Finland had received illegal state aid through a guarantee of the French Government.

In the complaint, information had been submitted indicating that the guarantee premium paid to the French Government was below market price.

"Given the information that we submitted to the Commission, we are still convinced that this is a clear-cut case of illegal state aid. It would appear that Commissioner Kroes has today decided to turn a blind eye on member states such as France that do not hesitate to break the law in order to defend the interests of the nuclear industry. We are now waiting to see the full justification and research behind the Commission's ruling in order to decide on our next steps," said Jan Haverkamp, EU energy policy campaigner for Greenpeace.

According to Greenpeace, state aid such as the one granted by France gives the nuclear industry an unfair advantage within the electricity market, discouraging investments in real climate-friendly solutions such as renewable energy sources.

Notes:

[1] The original Greenpeace complaint was filed in 2004 and it concerned an export credit guarantee given by the French credit agency COFACE to French nuclear vendor Areva for the construction of the Olkiluoto-3 nuclear reactor in Finland.
[2] After two years of construction, the Olkiluoto nuclear power station is already two years behind schedule and 1,5 billion Euro over budget. The reactor's original budget was 3 billion Euro. This budget overrun will have to be footed by the Olkiluoto constructor, the French - German firm Areva NP.

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