Five COVID-19 Developments In Nuclear 02.04.2020

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HINKLEY POINT C RAMPS UP WORKER PROTECTIONS

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, EDF Energy has introduced a series of measures to ensure its employees are protected against the virus. Not only has it significantly reduced activity on its Hinkley Point C site from 4,000 to 2,000 workers, but it has also instituted extra cleaning, working from home, banning visitors, temperature checks, and bringing in more buses to allow workers to stay apart. Hopefully, these changes will allow work to continue at the site and ensure that Hinkley Point C can provide the UK with the clean, reliable power needed to fight climate change in future.

(EDF, Coronavirus – what we are doing to keep the site and community safe, 31 March 2020, Link)

NUCLEAR AMRC JOINS THE VENTILATORCHALLENGEUK CONSORTIUM

As part of the ongoing fight against COVID-19, the Nuclear AMRC has teamed up with UK industrial, technology and engineering businesses from across the aerospace, automotive and medical sectors to help produce medical ventilators for the UK. The consortium, made up of seven manufacturing research centres, is looking to come up with production solutions for a range of ventilator design options inline with specifications developed by clinicians and the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

(Nuclear Industry Association, VentilatorChallengeUK consortium moves into production, 30 March 2020, Link)

FOODBANKS BENEFIT FROM NUCLEAR DONATIONS

The world’s second largest nuclear company, Assystem, has responded to the COVID-19 crisis by pledging food vouchers to five UK foodbanks. The foodbanks selected were all local to Assystem offices in Blackburn, Sunderland, Whitehaven, Derby and Bristol. The donation followed the postponement of foodbank collection campaigns due to the ongoing pandemic.  Commenting on the move, Peter Higton, Managing Director of Assystem Energy and Infrastructure Limited said:

‘Assystem’s ethos has always been one to serve society and try to find ways of improving the environment we live in’.

‘Times may currently be different, but our attitude isn’t. We have taken appropriate precautions to safeguard our staff and maintained dialogue with our partners, and we will continue to serve the wider community as best we can.’

(Nuclear Industry Association, Quintet of food banks benefit with donations, 1 April 2020, Link)

SELLAFIELD DONATES PPE TO HEALTH WORKERS

Sellafield is supporting critical health workers through COVID-19 by providing them with personal protective equipment (PPE). It has made an initial donation of 2,500 disposable respirators, 500 suits, gowns and lab coats, as well as several hundred pairs of gloves. The equipment donated would ordinarily be used to support the delivery of projects on the Sellafield site, however, given the temporary pause in work, it has been repurposed for use by medical professionals.

(Sellafield Ltd, Supporting our health workers, 27 March 2020, Link)

ONR ENSURES SAFETY IS UPHELD THROUGHOUT THE CRISIS

The Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) has confirmed that it is continuing to protect society by securing safe nuclear operations during the COVID-19 pandemic. It has pledged to protect staff by following national guidelines to socially distance and work from home wherever possible. All non-critical activities have been deferred and as much work as possible is being conducted via videoconference, phone and email. All licensed sites are required to determine minimum staffing levels necessary to ensure safe and secure operations and contingency arrangements if these levels are not met.

(Office for Nuclear Regulation, Coronavirus (COVID-19) – ONR Position, 1 April 2020, Link)

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