The UK’s plan to build a new nuclear power plant at the Hinkley Point C site could be scrapped following the French election if National Front leader Marine Le Pen comes to power. The populist right-wing party is “fundamentally against” the £18bn Somerset project and has vowed to study EDF’s contract with the UK Government in order to find a loophole that could sink the deal. Philippe Murer, Ms Le Pen’s energy adviser, said in an interview that the party would respect the commitment of the French state to build the nuclear power plant “but if clauses in the contract allow an exit from this project, we will study them”. The National Front believes that the Hinkley project would divert resources from state-controlled EDF at a time when it needs to increase spending to support the struggling nuclear industry at home. EDF faces a 55bn euro bill to extend the life of its reactors to 2025 and another 54bn euro cost for decommissioning its 58 nuclear reactors once they reach the end of their life. French election front-runner Emmanuel Macron – the country’s finance minister at the time Hinkley was agreed – believes that the project could reinvigorate the fortunes of EDF once the plant begins generating power.
Telegraph 10th April 2017 read more »