There is speculation that plans for Hinkley Point C could face further delays. The EDF Worker’s Committee are due to make a decision this week on the future of the proposed nuclear power station and it is thought likely that they are to ask for it to be postponed.
Legal action is also being taken by unions in France in a bid to delay the project. However, while plans for the Hinkley Point C plant don’t have the support of some French unions, it has the backing of four major unions in the United Kingdom.
Union support for Hinkley Point C
Len McCluskey of Unite and Mike Clancy of Prospect are among the supporters of the new plant who have signed a letter to Vincent de Rivaz, chief executive of EDF UK urging him to make the final investment decision in “a timely fashion”.
The letter also stated:
“From an energy perspective, the UK needs the electricity. We are rapidly losing capacity and this process will continue as the UK coal stations and nuclear stations reach the end of their operating lives.
“At the same time, we are committed to making a transition to a carbon-neutral balanced energy policy in the UK, including nuclear and renewables.
“Much is at stake in both France and the UK in terms of jobs, skills, social dialogue, industrial capability and prosperity into the future.”
The consultation process was due to come to an end on July 4 and union bosses are calling for a decision on the final financing to be made as soon as possible. Previously, the announcement on funding was due to be made in May, but this was deferred until September 2016.
“Project is ready”
Despite there reportedly being some concerns over funding, at a meeting with the Energy and Climate Change Committee in May, Vincent de Rivaz announced that the “money is there”. He also noted that the French Trade Unions wished to delay the project further.
However, de Rivaz went on to say that a delay wasn’t necessary as the “project is ready”. He also added that the project mustn’t be postponed “because the UK needs the electricity from Hinkley Point C at the time it’s due to come on line”.
It is estimated that the building of the new nuclear plant will cost £18 billion, and it would generate 7% of electricity in Britain once it comes into use. It also has the potential to create thousands of jobs.