French expert warns EDF may have to pull out of nuclear developments

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EDF could potentially be forced to pull out of plans to develop new nuclear plants in the UK according to a leading authority on the French nuclear power industry.

Speaking to Radio 4's Today programme, Mycle Schneider, warned the 'Big Six' energy firm was in "big trouble".

Mr Scheider, who previously acted as an advisor to the French government, said: "EDF is in big trouble. The whole of the nuclear power industry in France is in big trouble.

"It's not certain it will go ahead. There are a long list of issues that need to be agreed, not only the strike price. Even if there is an agreement the financing package has to be put together. It's a very long-term investment of very uncertain levels of realisation."

Prime Minister, David Cameron, was set to meet his French counterpart, Francois Hollande to discuss the matter further, however due to the death of Baroness Margaret Thatcher, he has had to return back to the UK before the talks could occur.

Only last month, EDF finally gained permission from the Government to develop a number of new nuclear sites at Hinkley Point, Somerset and also Sizewell C, Suffolk.

However, the plans have been besieged with problems from the outset, with EDF and the Government not seeing eye to eye on the amount of money the firm would receive for supplying the energy it generates.

The energy firm had previously delayed its decision on the power plants as it was uncertain of the economic conditions in its native France.

Furthermore, British Gas owner, Centrica, pulled out of a planned partnership to develop the site with EDF, leaving the firm looking for a new partner.

EDF Energy is part of the Government's Green Deal. The scheme has been designed by the Government to allow homeowners to seek ways in cutting down the carbon emissions of their home with energy-efficient products - at a subsidised rate.

The scheme covers things such as the installation of a new boiler, the fitting of solar panels and also the fitting of loft or wall insulation.

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