EDF project director for UK Hinkley Point nuclear plant quits

LONDON (Reuters) - An executive of French utility EDF EDF.PA in charge of Britain's first new nuclear power station project for 20 years is leaving to join U.S. energy company Entergy Corp ETR.N, the U.S. firm said on Tuesday.

As an executive director at EDF’s British unit, EDF Energy, Christopher Bakken had been project director since 2011 for the Hinkley Point C nuclear project in southwestern England.

He was responsible for the design, procurement, construction and commissioning of the planned new nuclear plant.

Bakken will become executive vice president and chief nuclear officer for Entergy from April 6, the U.S. firm said.

EDF had no immediate comment.

The state-owned French utility has announced an 18 billion pound project to build two new-generation nuclear reactors at Hinkley Point with Chinese partner CGN. The two companies also plan to build two more reactors at Sizewell in eastern England.

The plan was first announced in 2013, but an investment decision has been put off repeatedly as EDF struggles to find partners and financing.

Intractable problems at two similar nuclear plants under construction in France and Finland threaten more delays to EDF’s British plans.

Reporting by Nina Chestney; editing by Adrian Croft