April 13, 2016 / 5:17 PM / 2 years ago

Unions say EDF not ready to start Hinkley Point

PARIS (Reuters) - EDF’s (EDF.PA) unions, including the moderate CFDT union, said in an open letter to French President Francois Hollande that the French utility is not ready to start building nuclear reactors in Hinkley Point, Britain.

EDF’s leading CGT union, the more radical Force Ouvriere union and white collar union CFE-CGC have all voiced criticism of the 18 billion pound ($25.59 billion) project before, but CFDT has made no statements about it.

Unlike earlier statements by individual unions, the joint statement did not make an outright call to delay the UK project for several years.

“Today, EDF’s financial situation and the degraded working conditions do not allow the company to serenely consider building nuclear reactors in Britain,” the joint statement said.

The unions said EDF should focus on upgrading its French nuclear fleet, on optimising the EPR nuclear reactor model and on investing in its power grids.

The also said that EDF, which just celebrated its 70th anniversary, is on the edge of bankruptcy.

    French Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron is meeting with the EDF unions Thursday morning. On Friday afternoon, Macron is also due to meet EDF chief executive Jean-Bernard Levy.

    Macron said earlier this month that EDF will make the final investment decision on Hinkley Point early May.

    ($1 = 0.7033 pounds)

    Reporting by Geert De Clercq; Editing by Leigh Thomas

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