I read with incredulity the news that EDF Energy is continuing to have over 4000 workers on site at the Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant, in the midst of a full public lockdown with Covid-19 (Guardian, 24th March). At a time when the Prime Minister has told the nation to stay indoors, how can it be right that 4,000 construction workers in close proximity on site, and travelling from around local towns and the region, are allowed to continue to work? This is a public health emergency the likes of which we have never seen before. If Crossrail and HS2 work is to be curtailed, then surely this mega construction project should as well. It can easily be argued that EDF are putting the health of the construction workers at risk, as well as the local communities taking the busy local trains and roads the workers will be using. A three month lockdown is not good for any of us, but it will save lives. EDF must end all construction work for the same period, and not put the local community and their own workforce at risk. It is as simple as that. New nuclear may be important to EDF, and even the UK Government, but it is not that important. End the construction now and keep the local people safe.
Councillor David Blackburn
Chair of UK and Ireland Nuclear Free Local Authorities
c/o NFLA Secretariat, Manchester