Boomerang effect: Hinkley nuclear project comes back to haunt Emmanuel Macron

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The new French government has reacted as if it were surprised at the news that the French-led project to build a new nuclear power station in south-west England is already behind schedule and over budget. Yet it has known about the financial and technical risks posed by the Hinkley Point scheme for a long time, says Martine Orange. For the minister who personally backed and oversaw the massive project during the last presidency now himself occupies the Élysée.

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There are limits to political hand-waving. And when it comes to the nuclear industry, the new French government is in the process of overstepping those limits. Over the last week the government has behaved as if it were just discovering the issues confronting France's controversial nuclear sector and the industrial and financial problems that flow from them. Yet the new administration has known about the problems for a long time, and for a very good reason: the man who handled the dossier under the last government is now the president – Emmanuel Macron.