The EDF workers’ committee has turned to the French courts to try to further delay the group’s controversial £18bn project to build Britain’s Hinkley Point nuclear power plant. After its intervention in April, the committee – which is an official body within EDF made up largely of union members — was given three months, until July 4, to say if it would support the project or not. The committee filed a legal claim – alleging that EDF had “refused” to give it key documents and so it “cannot form a clear view on the issue”.
Jean-Luc Magnaval, secretary of the EDF workers’ committee, confirmed the legal move saying: “We do not have all the documents necessary to come to an opinion. Even if the judges force EDF to give us all the documents tomorrow, it will still be tight to come up with an informed opinion by July 4, so we are also asking for more time.” In a statement, EDF said it had “supplied fully comprehensive information on the project to enable employee representatives to participate in meaningful discussions with management.”
Any decision from the workers’ committee is non-binding, and so EDF can push ahead with Hinkley Point regardless. Legally, EDF has to at least wait for the committee’s opinion before proceeding. A majority of the EDF unions now want to delay any commitment to the Hinkley Point project, in part because, the EPR reactor technology that will be used is still untested, with no working example in the world.