France's trade unions are pressing for construction of UK's Hinkley Point C NPP to be delayed, according to the BBC. EDF Energy agreed a deal in principle last year, to invest in the NPP and recently said an investment decision would be made this year. However, the unions hold six of the 18 seats on the EDF board, which is yet to vote on a final investment decision.
The GBP18bn ($25bn) project has seen repeated delays with EDF insisting on numerous occasions that the decision was imminent. Already many millions of pounds have been spent on new roads, new training centres and offices. Companies in and around Somerset have been gearing up for the development, which has promised 25,000 new jobs in the construction phase alone.
Francis Raillott, of CFE-CGC, which has two seats on the EDF board, said investment should not be made until problems surrounding construction of unit 3 at the Flamanville NPP in France have been solved. The project, which involves an EPR reactor similar to those planned for Hinkley, is years behind schedule and millions of euros over budget. "Right now, Hinkley is too risky for the company," he said. "We think it is better to wait and see. Wait for three years so we can see that everything works... or not."
An EDF spokesman said: "Final steps are well in hand to enable the full construction phase [at Hinkley] to be launched very soon." Hinkley is due to start generating power in 2025, and is expected to provide 7% of the UK's electricity.