Letter Roy Pumfrey: WHILE EDF has gone halfway by reducing the number of workers on the Hinkley C (HPC) site, the company seems reluctant to shut HPC down completely (‘HPC construction continues’, Mercury, March 24) due to the Coronavirus pandemic. An EDF statement talked about reducing worker numbers ‘further as work already in progress is completed’, but was not specific about which work was so critical that it couldn’t be terminated now and how much longer it would carry on. This is in stark contrast to the situation at Flamanville in France (HPC’s sister station) where EDF has stopped all but essential tasks. EDF hides behind the fig leaf of HPC being ‘a project of critical national importance’. This is simply no longer justified. If it was okay to stop work for three weeks over Christmas and the New Year, it must be done now when the stakes are much higher than a holiday. At the same time, EDF promised to take more effective measures on social distancing. Photographs of workers grouped in bus queues and using the canteen but clearly less than 2m apart show that this is all but impossible.
Bridgwater Mercury 4th April 2020 read more »
This is the West Country 4th April 2020 read more »
The latest measures to improve social distancing at Hinkley Point C have been welcomed as the country continues to negotiate life under a coronavirus lockdown. Numerous workers at the construction site of Britain’s first nuclear power plant in decades have expressed their concerns about the perceived lack of social distancing measures. French energy giant behind the multi-billion pound project, EDF, had already slashed its workforce to around 2,000 and implemented further social distancing measures. Further measures confirmed on Wednesday (April 1) state any site workers using local accommodation will now be housed at Hinkley Point C’s two campus sites. Bus pick-up stops used by workers in Bridgwater will no longer be used from Monday (April 6) and buses will instead collect and return passengers at its three secure park and ride locations. Chris Morgan, chairman of the nearby Stogursey Parish Council, remains “increasingly concerned” about workers living in the area amid the coronavirus outbreak. While he has previously welcomed the Hinkley Point C project and its workers living in the area, he is concerned any worker carrying COVID-19 could harm one of the area’s “vulnerable residents”. He said: “Although it’s good that EDF has reduced the number of workers ‘on-site’, they have not reduced the number of workers within this, or any other village/town. “The workforce continues to leave on EDF transport, spend a shift together, then return on EDF transport to their place of residence. “They then use local shops to get their food, drink, personal requirements before going back to their room or flat. “With several HMO’s in Stogursey, there will be a perfectly natural temptation to meet/gather together for a drink, or a meal etc.” He added: “This is a small rural area with a great many vulnerable residents. “This area is hosting a massive construction project, absorbing a huge influx of workers and being subject now to the potential of being contaminated due to financial considerations, not reasons considering the greater good. “At any other time, and certainly prior to these dreadful times, we have enjoyed the company of the workforce sharing our village.
Somerset Live 4th April 2020 read more »