HINKLEY Point C site remains operational while the government faces pressure to stop non-essential construction work to prevent spreading of the Coronavirus, EDF announced this morning.
The company stated to have taken measures to protect its employees and will be taking additional steps in response to the pandemic.
On Tuesday, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said those who cannot do their jobs from home should go to work to ‘keep the country running’ and that construction work can continue so long as people are two metres (6.5ft) apart from one another.
However, critics said public health should be prioritised over the economy.
In Scotland, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said building sites should close, unless it involves an essential building such as a hospital.
EDF commented the situation in a public statement: “The safety of workers and the community is the first priority at Hinkley Point C and a wide range of measures have already been put in place to protect workers and prevent the spread of infection.
“Hinkley Point C is taking additional steps in response to the Coronavirus pandemic.
“The number of workers on site will be significantly reduced, falling by more than half to around 2,000 in the coming days and further as work already in progress is completed.
“The project will preserve the UK’s specialist nuclear supply chain and its skilled workers by focusing on critical work on nuclear parts of the project.
“Keeping this capability intact is essential for a project of critical national importance and an industry which plays a key role in helping the UK reach net zero.
“We will work in a focused and limited way with split shifts, extra buses and staggered breaks.
“Reduced numbers will allow easier social distancing in operational areas and sites such as canteens.
“Steps already in place include: shutting our Bristol head office, working from home for those that can, temperature checks on people entering the site, extra cleaning, changes in movement patterns, closure of bars and gyms.
“We are aware that many people and families in the locality depend on us and we will work with them to mitigate the impact of our reduced activity.
“We will consider how our resources can be used to help the community in the current crisis.
“We will continue to work with the trade unions and our supply chain to keep people safe and help them deal with the developing situation.”