Energy executives called in as UK nuclear strategy founders

Executives from big energy companies are set to appear in front of an influential committee of MPs amid concerns that Britain’s “nuclear renaissance” is under threat.

The FT reported on Saturday that Centrica is the latest utility to threaten to pull out of a separate consortium with EDF Energy due to uncertainty over the government’s energy policy.

Tim Yeo, chairman of the energy select committee, said it was ominous that no buyer had come forward to purchase Horizon.

Senior figures from the four companies as well as Charles Hendry, energy minister, are expected to be called to give evidence after the committee has met this week.

Mr Yeo warned that the electoral success of François Hollande, the Socialist challenger who won the first round of the French presidential election on Sunday, was a “risk factor” for Britain’s nuclear programme given his aim of reducing the share of atomic energy in France. EDF is majority-owned by the French state.

“He is certainly a lot cooler on nuclear than [President Nicolas] Sarkozy,” Mr Yeo added.

But the British government is broadly unconcerned about Mr Hollande winning the presidential race, believing he would not rein back EDF’s nuclear programme overseas.

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