EDF Energy’s unions, including the moderate CFDT union, have said in an open letter to French President Francois Hollande this week that the French company is not ready to start building Hinkley Point C, near Burnham-On-Sea.

While the energy firm’s leading CGT union, the more radical Force Ouvriere union, and CFE-CGC have all voiced criticism of the £18billion project before, the CFDT has made no statements about it.

Unlike previous statements issued by the individual union groups, the joint statement this week does not make an outright call to delay the project for several years.

“Today, EDF’s financial situation and the degraded working conditions do not allow the company to serenely consider building nuclear reactors in Britain,” the joint statement says.

The unions say EDF should focus on upgrading its French nuclear fleet, on optimising the EPR nuclear reactor model, and on investing in its power grids.