EDF has said this week that its Hinkley Point C project near Burnham-On-Sea is progressing well, with more than 1,200 people now working on the site each day.

Vincent de Rivaz, chief executive of EDF Energy, said on Tuesday that the Hinkley project is making “good progress”.

“Our new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point C will play a vital role as the UK continues to make the transition away from fossil fuels.”

He added”The exceptional performance of EDF Energy’s existing nuclear power stations is making a huge contribution to security of supply and providing large volumes of reliable, low carbon electricity.”

His comments came during a press conference where EDF admitted that technical problems at some of its French nuclear plants have hit profits.

The firm has seen its annual UK earnings slump by 29% amid intense competition from rival suppliers and lower wholesale energy prices.

The firm, which is increasing electricity prices by 8.4% next month, said underlying operating profits fell to £470 million last year, down from £664 million the previous year.

The energy group also revealed that the slump in the pound since the Brexit vote cost it £300 million when UK earnings were translated into euros.

But EDF said that UK nuclear production reached its highest level since 2003 last year in an “exceptional” performance.

Even without Brexit, Hinkley Point C, funded and developed by EDF with China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGN) as a 33.5% stakeholder, has been identified as a risky proposition for the indebted French firm, since two similar plants it is building overseas are heavily delayed and over budget.

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