Hinkley C: delay piles up on delay

“EDF’s nuclear plant at Hinkley Point could face further delays after its workers launched legal action against the company in French courts and asked for the project to be put off.

The Works Council at EDF claims the energy firm has refused to grant access to key documents and that staff have been left unable to form a clear view on Hinkley.

The plant was due to be running by 2017 but the company is now aiming for completion by 2025, and has yet to make its final decision on how to raise the £18billion needed.

The decision was due in May, but delayed to consult the unions. Some representatives of EDF workers have asked for Hinkley to be put off for another three years – something the French energy company does not wish to do.

Their concerns echo those of senior managers at EDF, who last week wrote to the Energy and Climate Change Committee calling for Hinkley to be postponed.

In May, EDF’s UK boss Vincent De Rivaz faced questions from MPs over its failure to reach a funding decision last month, as had been promised.

If EDF fails to make its decision by September, it will be called back before the select committee again in October.

Jean-Luc Magnaval, secretary of the EDF workers’ committee, has said that even if judges force EDF to hand over the documents in question, the unions will struggle to come to a decision by their set deadline of July 4.

EDF said it had supplied comprehensive information on the project to the unions and participated in meetings to enable representatives to reach a decision in time.

A spokesman for EDF said: ‘EDF is confident in the quality of the information it has provided to the [union] in support of the Hinkley Point C project.’”