Fresh blow to EDF’s Hinkley nuclear plans

The Hinkley nuclear plant has suffered a fresh setback as it has emerged French trade unions are “unlikely” to support the project “at its current state”. EDF is currently consulting […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

The Hinkley nuclear plant has suffered a fresh setback as it has emerged French trade unions are “unlikely” to support the project “at its current state”.

EDF is currently consulting with a committee, representing its staff and unions, which was launched earlier this month and is expected to last at least two months.

That has led to a delay in the final investment decision of the £18 billion project in Somerset, which is expected to provide 7% of the UK’s electricity needs.

Jean Luc Magnaval, Secretary of EDF Central Works Committee told BBC Newsnight: “We have reservations about several aspects of the project: organisation, supply chain, installation and procurement.

“The trade unions are unlikely to give their blessing to the project in its current state. We are not reassured by the documents we have received. We have been given a marketing folder, not the full information we require.”

Earlier this week, French Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron wrote to the UK’s Energy and Climate Change Committee, reassuring them of the French Government’s commitment to the project.

EDF Energy’s CEO Vincent de Rivaz also insisted that despite trade unions wanting to delay the project, the energy firm aims to stay on track.

He added EDF is not pulling the plug on the project, claiming none of the company’s project has been “as well prepared as Hinkley to be a success”.