Sunday, 19 September 2010

French utility firm hopes to minimise risk of industrial action at Hinkley Point and Sizewell

EDF Energy is looking to secure high-level agreements with the UK's largest unions to remove any threat of strikes on a proposed £20bn nuclear power plant.

The French giant plans to build the first of a new wave of nuclear power plants at Hinkley Point and Sizewell by 2018 and is keen to ensure it lays the groundwork for a smooth construction process. Government officials need nuclear developers to meet a strict timetable to tackle a yawning energy gap.

Hinkley Point and Sizewell, two of 10 nuclear reactor sites identified by the previous government, will create 5,000 construction jobs and 900 permanent jobs.

An EDF spokeswoman said: "EDF Energy recognises the importance and value of having the right agreements and relationships in place and fully intends to develop appropriate arrangements as part of its nuclear new build construction project. Careful consideration is being given to this and the way forward will be shared in due course."

Hamish Lal, a construction partner at lawyer Jones Day, said: "What EDF is trying to do is hedge the risk of delay to the construction phase."


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