The long-running saga over a planned new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point has taken a fresh twist after French union officials started legal action against a decision by energy giant EDF to go ahead with the project.
Five directors of EDF, representing workers, started proceedings in Paris aimed at annulment of the group’s investment in the £18billion scheme.
EDF’s board voted last month to press ahead with building the power station in Somerset, but the UK government made a shock announcement that it wanted time to study the already-delayed scheme.
A decision is now expected in the autumn, following speculation that Prime Minister Theresa May is concerned about the involvement of Chinese state-owned CGN in the project and any further agreement for China to build reactors in Bradwell, Essex.
Hinkley is expected to be discussed at the G20 summit in China at the weekend.
Greenpeace’s UK chief scientist Dr Doug Parr said: “This latest legal move shows that Hinkley Point is not even a convincing project to people right at the top of EDF.
“How often have board members of a major international company openly taken their firm to court to annul a decision of this kind? It emphasises just how right Theresa May was to call a pause on the UK government signing up to this deal.
“She now needs to resist pressure from Chinese and French governments at the upcoming G20 to be rushed into going ahead.
“The UK’s best interests are served by getting into the global race on increasingly cheaper clean power and the smart technology revolution that’s transforming energy systems around the world.”