Hinkley and Flamanville – different rules

There are two major new nuclear power stations under construction. Both are being built by EdF. One on either side of the channel.

As it is reported that 5 Hinkley C workers have tested positive for COVID 19, their treatment contrasts with those in France. In Flamanville, Normandy, there are three power stations. One is being decommissioned. Another off grid for servicing. And the third is the long overdue and massively over-budget 3.

The workforce at the Flamanville site has been cut drastically, from 1,300 to just 100 people. In other words just a skeleton staff for a power station that is incomplete and still has major engineering issues to overcome. Hinkley C which when in full swing has a staff of around 5,000 on the construction site, is still continuing construction with around 2,500 workers still actively involved.

Hinkley claims this is reasonable and social distancing is being observed throughout the site. We have also seen reports that all the workforce are being given regular temperature checks.

Nigel Cann, construction delivery director at the site is reproted as saying “There is no evidence of infections on site caused by the other workers. Investigations include contact tracing and tracking the health of those who are, or have been, in self-isolation.

All of which may be true. But this does not explain why the two sites one in France and one in Somerset, appear to be taking a radically different approach to their workforce.

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