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Business

France knew of UK's nuclear plant delay

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Business

France knew of UK's nuclear plant delay

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COMING UP:France knew of UK's nuclear plant delay

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00:00:00
>> EDF has egg on its face. The French utility saying last week that it would build a big new nuclear power station in Britain. Only to discover one day later that London wasn't sure if it wanted to go ahead. Now it turns out the UK Prime Minister, Theresa May, had told the French President days earlier that she wanted a delay.
00:00:19
Reuters utilities correspondent, Geert De Clercq, says there was a major communication failure.>> You must understand also that Theresa May communicated with the French President, then the French President communicated with his Prime Minister, and presumably the economy and industry minister, who then is in charge of EDF. So at somewhere in this line, either Hollande did not understand Theresa May's message clearly enough or he did understand it and communicated it, but then at some point this information did not make its way to EDF.
00:00:52
>> The communication failure all the stranger, as EDF is state controlled. Paris owns an 85% stake in the firm. Now, the bigger question is whether to proceed with the Hinkley point project, estimated to cost about 18 billion pounds. The plan would generate about 7% of Britain's electricity. For France, it could be even more important.
00:01:14
>> At the moment, the French nuclear industry is working on the last major nuclear plant that they're building in France. After that, there's no more building going on here, and there are no other foreign contracts to build nuclear. So if Hinkley Point is not built the French nuclear industry, which employs about 200,000 people, will have no work.
00:01:35
So it is a very big issue for the French government.>> London, due to decide later this year whether Hinkley Point will go ahead, critics say it's too expensive and will burden UK consumers with needlessly expensive energy. But with so much riding on it, many suspect it's too big to fail.