The first concrete has been poured in the construction of Britain’s first new nuclear power plant in more than 20 years.
Work has now begun on Hinkley Point C near Burnham-On-Sea, including the building of tunnels to carry cabling and pipes.
About 1,600 workers are now onsite to work on the £18bn project, which is due to begin producing power in 2025.
Pouring the concrete was a “significant milestone”, project director Philippe Bordarier said.
Work to build the first of 50 huge tower cranes at the site along with accommodation for workers has also started.
Hinkley Point C Project Director, Philippe Bordarier said: “Pouring the concrete for the first permanent structure of HPC is a significant milestone. It is the outcome of many years of preparation and hard work from all our teams and supply chain across the UK and France.”
“It demonstrates our ability to undertake the serious responsibility of nuclear power plant construction. Whilst we reflect on this great achievement we will continue to look for opportunities to improve, learn and teach others, embracing the values of the HPC project.”
Hinkley Point C will provide 25,000 job opportunities and 1,000 apprenticeships with many of the jobs going to people living in Somerset, says EDF.
With 64% of the project spend going to the UK, HPC is already delivering significant benefits to the economy in the South West and other parts of the country. £435m of contracts have been signed so far with businesses in the region.
The power station is a vital part of the UK’s low carbon energy future and will provide enough reliable electricity to meet 7% of the UK’s future electricity needs.