French EDF exec quits, reportedly over UK nuclear plant

france nuclear power plant fassenheim elp

PARIS (AP) — French energy company EDF said Monday that one of its senior vice presidents has resigned and been replaced. French media reported that Thomas Piquemal quit over concerns about the financing of a new nuclear power plant in southwest England.

The French business journal Les Echos reported that in recent weeks Piquemal called for more financing for the nuclear plant, which had been due to start producing electricity in 2023. The project has been mired in delays, and critics say it is uneconomical.

EDF, which is majority-owned by the French government, announced Piquemal's resignation on Monday and said he has been replaced by Xavier Girre. The company's shares dropped about 7 percent on opening.

France's economy minister, Emmanuel Macron, reiterated the government's "total support" for the Hinkley Point nuclear power project, which could ultimately produce as much as 7 percent of U.K. electricity and create 25,000 jobs, according to EDF.

"It's an important project for the EDF company and a very profitable project over the next 30 years," Macron told reporters.

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