UN asks U.K. to pause Hinkley nuclear plant work for assessment

A United Nations committee asked the U.K. to suspend work on the Hinkley Point nuclear power plant pending assessment of the environmental impact.

The UN Economic Commission for Europe requested the pause, it said in a document on its website. Electricite de France SA, the French state-controlled utility, won approval to build an 18 billion-pound ($22.3 billion) nuclear plant on England’s western coast in September. To help shoulder the construction costs, EDF convinced China General Nuclear Power Corp. to take 33.5 percent of the project.

The UN committee recommended the halt until it established whether “a notification under the Espoo Convention” was useful, according to the statement. The Espoo Convention sets out the obligations of countries to “assess the environmental impact of certain activities,” according to the commission’s website.

Bouygues SA and Areva SA have received contracts for work at the plant.

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