Two years after the Hinkley Point C project near Burnham-On-Sea fully launched, the scale of construction and progress has been revealed by the release of new photographs of the building work this week.

More than 3,200 people are at work building the new nuclear power station and this project is on track for its next major milestone in 2019 – the completion of the 4,500 tonne concrete platform on which the reactor buildings sit.

This significant moment for the project is known as ‘J-0’ and has been underpinned by the successful completion of the final design for the work.

The project is also setting its sights further ahead with preparation for the MEH phase (Mechanical, Electrical and HVAC – heating, ventilation and air conditioning).

This week, four major UK contractors signed the ‘MEH Alliance’ to work together on the complex installation of cabling and pipework in the power station’s 2,500 rooms.

The innovative approach means that Altrad, Balfour Beatty Bailey, Cavendish Nuclear and Doosan Babcock will pool their expertise to work as a single entity. The alliance aims to create new industrial capacity and jobs by manufacturing specialist pipework in Britain.

Full construction at Hinkley Point C got underway after EDF, its Chinese partner CGN, and the UK Government, signed final contracts in September 2016. The power station will supply the UK with reliable low carbon electricity to meet 7% of the country’s needs. The project is mobilised for an objective of initial delivery for unit 1 at the end of 2025.

Work is advancing on reactor one with completion of its pre-stressing gallery: this structure sits below the reactor unit and will help to strengthen the main reactor building. Work on reactor two has also begun.

‘Deep dig’ is complete for Unit 1: this vast excavation is 21m below sea level and will contain the 54m tall water pumping station.

750 metres of underground concrete galleries are ready: these are the channels to house cables and pipes.

Concrete production has already topped 200,000 cubic metres and. 5.3 million cubic metres of earth have been moved.

Work will be completed this year on the 760m sea wall. At 13.5m tall, it has been designed to cope with rising sea levels for the plant’s lifetime.

A 500m Jetty, pictured here, has been built to import aggregates by sea, to try and minimize the environmental impact of construction.

The first accommodation campus opened on schedule with 510 beds, a restaurant and gym. Using innovative pre-fabrication techniques, it was installed in just 8 months.

£10.6bn of contracts have been awarded with £1.3bn in the South-West and 64% of the project value is being built with UK firms.

250 of 1,000 apprentices have been hired and 400 schools have taken part in education events.

Hinkley Point C Managing Director Stuart Crooks told “Everyone working on the project should be proud of what they have achieved so far. Unions, contractors and suppliers are successfully working together with a complete focus on quality and safety.”

“Innovation and experience from other projects is helping us boost productivity and get ready for the next stages. I am also proud of the positive impact that Hinkley Point C is having on the South-West. We are determined to create a positive legacy here for people, communities, jobs and skills.”

Nuclear Energy Minister Richard Harrington added this week: “Hinkley Point C marks a significant step forward in our transition to a clean, low-carbon energy system, powering nearly six million homes for around 60 years while helping us meet our climate change commitments.”

“The project is making good progress and is on track to meet its next major milestone, creating more than 25,000 job opportunities. Nuclear has an important role to play in the UK’s energy future. The Government demonstrated its commitment to new nuclear through the Industrial Strategy Nuclear Sector Deal and commissioning Hinkley Point C – the first new nuclear power station in a generation.”

EDF Energy CEO Simone Rossi adds: “Hinkley Point C is making good progress and we are determined to honour the trust put in us to build it. Now the nuclear industry has been restarted, there is a unique opportunity to reduce costs for a follow-on project at Sizewell C.”

An EDF Community Funding Drop-in Day is being held in the BAY Centre on Thursday 27 September between 10am – 4pm when all are welcome.

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