Restrictions on trade and foreign labour caused by the UK’s departure from the European Union could mean cost hikes and delays to the Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant (pictured), its developer, EDF, has warned.
In a submission to MPs the French state-controlled company said the UK would have to import goods and skilled labour from around the world to make the "very substantial investments in new infrastructure" the UK government is planning.
"There is a risk that restrictions on trade and movement of labour will increase the costs of essential new infrastructure developments and could delay their delivery," EDF said in a submission to MPs on the business, energy and industrial strategy select committee, newspaper The Times reported 24 January.
The submission did not specifically mention Hinkley Point, but said the UK would need "critical goods and services in the nuclear supply chain and specialist nuclear skills".
The project, costed at $22.6bn (£18bn), is the only new nuclear power station currently approved in the UK.
Also raising concerns about the impact of Brexit on the planned new wave of nuclear power plants in Britain was UK trade body, the Nuclear Industry Association (NIA).
It told the MPs that investors may be put off without "confidence that there will be continuing access to skills, both specialist nuclear skills from European/International companies and construction labour and the easy supply of goods and services across EU borders", The Times reported.
Even without Brexit, Hinkley Point C, funded and developed by EDF with China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGN) as a 33.5% stakeholder, has already been identified as a risky proposition for the indebted French firm, since two similar plants it is building in Finland and France are heavily delayed and over budget.
Photograph: Artist’s render of the planned twin-reactor Hinkley Point C power station (EDF)