ENERGY giant EDF was rocked by the resignation of a board member just before a meeting last night that decided to go ahead with a controversial new nuclear power station.
As the Star went to press, the French state-owned firm was reported to have given the green light to a third plant at Hinkley Point in Somerset with a final investment.
Gerard Magnin, one of EDF’s 18 board members, stepped down saying that the £18 billion project was financially “highly risky” and would lead France away from renewable energy.
The project has been mired in controversy over its cost since it was originally proposed in 2008, with French unions delaying it over fears that it could bankrupt EDF.
The go-ahead was welcomed by British trade unions but criticised by environmental campaigners.
Hinkley Point C will provide 7 per cent of Britain’s electricity over its 60-year lifetime and the government has pledged to pay EDF £92.50 for each megawatt hour of energy it generates until the 2060s.
Unite national officer for energy Kevin Coyne said: “We urge the EDF board to give the financial go-ahead on a project which will generate thousands of decent, skilled jobs and help meet the energy needs of the UK for generations to come.”
But CND general secretary Kate Hudson warned: “The new power plant will saddle future generations with an astronomical environmental and economic debt.
“Rather than spending billions subsidising the French state’s energy industry, the government should be investing in renewable energy here in the United Kingdom.”