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UK and Fench govts consider nuclear construction as “essential”, so can remain open

Work continues at Hinkley Point C nuclear power station in Somerset but workforce cut by half, Watch Rupert Evelyn’s ITV News report: [on original]. 25 Mar 20. The beaches of Somerset are deserted as the warning to stay at home appears to have been heeded but on the Bristol Channel coast thousands of people are still clocking in to work at Europe’s largest building site.

The Government has deemed the jobs at Hinkley Point C nuclear power station near Bridgwater to be essential and French energy giant EDF says that it is “a project of critical national importance”.

The number of construction workers will now be reduced by more than half to around 2,000 to mitigate the coronavirus risk and bosses have pledged to reduce staffing levels further as the project progresses.

But critics and opponents have rounded on the decision to carry on and have called on the Government to halt proceedings.

This is putting lives at risk right across Somerset and the whole of the country. Why hasn’t the Prime Minister ordered them to stay at home – is he just pandering to the nuclear lobby? While the rest of the country is in lockdown, EDF fails to acknowledge that if someone has developed a fever, they have been incubating and spreading the virus for days beforehand.

– KATY ATTWATER, STOP HINKLEY CAMPAIGN SPOKESWOMAN

Workers have been photographed close to each other in the canteen and sitting shoulder to shoulder on the buses which transport them to and from the site.

This is at odds with Government advice to socially distance.

They need to put something else in place. They need to consider their workers. If there is an outbreak at Hinkley Point then it would be uncontrollable. Our NHS system here in the South West is quite small compared to big cities.

March 26, 2020 - Posted by | health, politics, UK

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