EDF, Europe, Nuclear

New Hinkley Point doubts as unions plan opposition

Sign for Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant

The beleaguered Hinkley Point C project in western England is set to suffer another setback, with the unions involved in EDF reinforcing their opposition to the nuclear power plant project going ahead.

Following earlier dissent from within the ranks of the EDF board, the company decided to hold talks with the unions, while outwardly the French government reassured the British government that they were fully behind the project.

However the 60-day union consultation, supposed to be the final hurdle for the company to clear before granting approval sometime after Britain’s EU referendum at the end of June, now looks set to postpone a final investment decision yet again.
Hinkley Point C
Speaking to the BBC on Thursday, Jean-Luc Magnaval, the secretary of the EDF workers’ committee, which represents those unions, said that he remained opposed to the scheme despite EDF’s consultation.

Mr Magnaval told Newsnight: “We want something that will work. We wish that EDF was as keen to improve the project as they are to start work on it. We have reservations about several aspects of the project: organisation, supply chain, installation and procurement.

“The trade union is unlikely to give its 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.”

The company could push ahead anyway. With management and the government, which owns 85 per cent of the company, both in favour, it has the votes it needs to approve the project, albeit with unprecedented board-level dissent.