Stop Hinkley Press Release
11th June 2008
Immigrant rules to be relaxed for
The government is to relax immigration rules in order to fill jobs in the nuclear industry, following predictions that the UK will have insufficient workers to build the planned fleet of nuclear power stations including Hinkley C.
The Home Office plans to expand the 'national shortage list' by 27 employment categories connected to electricity generation which can be filled by workers from anywhere in the world.
But campaigners are concerned that safety might suffer if engineering standards become compromised through language difficulties. They point to construction problems in Finland and France where overseas sub-contractors have been involved in sub-standard building work. Concrete pouring at the Flamanville site in northern France was stopped two weeks ago due to an incorrect mix of concrete in its foundations. Polish shipyard contractors had built a misshapen steel containment vessel for the Olkiluoto site in Finland.
The UK has not built any nuclear power stations since Sizewell B in Suffolk was completed in 1987.
Jim Duffy, spokesman for Stop Hinkley said: "EdF is promising 2,000 construction jobs for Somerset but the UK cannot supply enough nuclear construction workers so the majority will come from overseas under EdF's management. The problems in Finland and France of insufficient technical supervision and difficulties reading technical drawings could be repeated with Hinkley C and with awful consequences down the line."
"The Government's rush for nuclear seems reckless and ill-considered. Much safer to proceed with current plans to develop renewable energy for as much 25 Gigawatts of mostly offshore wind-power by 2013. With less likelihood of bodged building, renewables coupled with energy efficiency can produce more jobs per pound spent than nuclear."
Jim Duffy, Stop Hinkley, 07968 974805