AN AUSTRIAN appeal against UK Government funding for Hinkley C has been dismissed after a sprawling investigation.

This week the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled on whether the UK government's contribution to the new nuclear power station in Somerset constituted 'state aid', and found that it did not.

EDF Energy stated it was confident the funding would withstand legal challenge.

An EDF spokesman said: "“EDF Energy believed that the state aid investigation by the European Commission was exhaustive, fair and robust.

“The construction of Hinkley Point C is on track and is making good progress.

"It is employing thousands of people in Somerset and is boosting skills and industry across the whole UK.

"Nuclear energy has a vital role to play in providing reliable low carbon electricity for the future and help meet climate change targets.”

However Green MEP for South West Dr Molly Scott-Cato described the ECJ's decision as 'regrettable'.

Molly Scott Cato MEP, a Green MEP who has long campaigned against Hinkley and in favour of renewables, said:

“This decision is hugely regrettable. There can be no justification for EU subsidies to be thrown at nuclear.

"Hinkley C is a particular tragedy for the South West when we are blessed with exciting renewable energy alternatives.

"The region has huge potential for both onshore and offshore wind; for tidal and geothermal energy and is the region best suited in the whole of the UK to capture the power of the sun.

“Sadly, today’s ECJ ruling will only serve to reinforce the government’s ideological obsession with nuclear.

"The National Infrastructure Commission agrees that nuclear is not the way forward for the UK and that we should seize the golden opportunities that renewable energy technologies provide."

Molly Scott Cato also warned that Brexit could have devastating impacts on the UK's ability to generate nuclear power.

“Brexit could leave nuclear power in the UK in meltdown.

"There is on-going uncertainty around our membership of Euratom.

"While this EU body may be a relic of the past that gives unfair privilege to nuclear power, it none-the-less governs procedures, regulations and safeguards for nuclear power across the EU.

"This includes the transportation of nuclear materials around Europe.

"Unless new arrangements are agreed the UK could run out of nuclear fuel within two years, meaning nuclear power stations would be unable to produce energy."