The workers’ committee at EDF on Thursday dealt a new blow to Hinkley, saying it is likely to vote against the plan. The French utility has been on the verge of giving the final approval to the Hinkley Point project for the past few months, but has delayed doing so on several occasions after a string of last-minute objections. Last month the company announced another pause while it consults unions within the organisation, which have representation on the company’s board. Those unions have threatened to vote against the project, saying they believe it could threaten the company’s future. 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.”
FT 27th May 2016 read more »
Opposition from French unions has cast fresh doubt over the future of the planned Hinkley nuclear power station in Somerset. Key French workers’ unions continue to oppose the £18bn project despite repeated attempts by EDF, which would build the reactors, to win their backing. The French state-owned company has delayed the decision on whether to go ahead until the summer while it consults the unions. Union representatives hold six of the 18 seats on its board.
Guardian 27th May 2016 read more »
Fresh opposition from French trade unions is threatening the future of a new nuclear plant at Hinkley Point, experts say. The Bridgewater-based Hinkley Point C, which would be built by French-owned power company EDF, will cost an estimated £18billion.
Bristol Post 27th May 2016 read more »
City AM 27th May 2016 read more »
EDF Energy had to face the Energy and Climate committee over its nuclear power station, Hinkley Point C yesterday. The power station has been in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons in the past – including concerns over its cost and its legality. Vincent de Rivaz, EDF UK’s Chief Executive, had to attend a meeting after the final investment decision was been pushed back yet again. Since March, there have been a series of revelations which throw the £18-21 billion project into doubt. Falsifying safety documents, French Energy Minister Segelene Royale speaking out over concerns of the cost, and a legal opinion from leading barristers which suggests part of the French government’s financial support for EDF could be unlawful under EU competition law. Dr Doug Parr, Greenpeace Chief Scientist who gave evidence at the initial Energy and Climate hearing said: “It is no wonder that the EDF chief refused to be pinned down as to when the company would make the decision to invest in Hinkley. The company is up to its eyes in debt, with Moody’s threatening to downgrade EDF further if the Hinkley investment is made.
Blue & Green Tomorrow 26th May 2016 read more »
French plans for an £18 billion nuclear plant in Britain faced renewed opposition yesterday amid claims that the investment could undermine the country’s own reactors. Critics warned that essential safety work at French atomic energy sites risks being delayed or abandoned if Eléctricité de France (EDF), the state-owned electricity giant, goes ahead with plans to build two European pressurised reactors at Hinkley Point in Somerset. The warning came after the head of France’s nuclear watchdog, the Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN) expressed concern that EDF’s financial woes posed a threat to the safety of the country’s 58 reactors. Many of the firm’s engineers and executives say its troubles will deepen if it takes on the British project. Unions have no formal veto over the project but they have threatened industrial action if it goes ahead without their approval. Mr Hollande, who is struggling to contain strikes and protests over his plans for labour law reform, is keen to avoid that prospect. Critics, including Thomas Piquemal, EDF’s former financial director, say the firm is too fragile to shoulder its planned two-thirds share of investment at Hinkley Point. Pierre-Franck Chevet, chairman of ASN, told France’s office for the evaluation of scientific and technological choices, that he was concerned about nuclear safety in France. He said the financial, economic or budgetry difficulties faced by EDF and Areva might lead to investments in safety not being made or being postponed. Mr Chevet said that while French reactors were safe at the moment, the future was worrying. Mrs Cailletaud said: “He’s not saying there’s going to be a nuclear accident. What he is saying is that the ASN might shut down reactors if safety work is not carried out. “What we say is that it is important to stabilise EDF’s financial position before going ahead with Hinkley Point.”
Times 28th May 2016 read more »