Construction of the second reactor at Hinkley Point C near Burnham-On-Sea has this week passed a major milestone with the lifting of the first part of the massive steel containment liner.
Lifted by the world’s largest crane – which is known as ‘Big Carl’ – just nine months after the same lift for the first reactor, construction of the 170-tonne ‘liner cup’ was 30% quicker than the identical part on Unit 1.
The liner cup is the base for the reactor’s steel containment which is being prefabricated in five parts and lifted into place by Big Carl.
This innovation means welding can take place in covered bunkers protected from the weather.
The liner cup for Hinkley Point C’s second unit was built in 39 days versus 57 for the first. The construction and lift were completed on schedule, despite workers having to adapt to Coronavirus working conditions.
The cup is one of more than 500 prefabricated steel and concrete elements that Big Carl will lift, including whole sections of buildings, walls and pre-cast air ducts. The heaviest items weigh in at 1,600 tonnes.
Nigel Cann, Hinkley Point C Construction Delivery Director, says: “This milestone shows how replication and innovation are driving efficiency at Hinkley Point C as we build our second identical reactor on site.”
“In turn, that will benefit our planned third and fourth units at Sizewell C in Suffolk. Hitting the schedule during Coronavirus is a tribute to the workforce that has had to adapt to new ways of working to ensure the safety of the site and the community around it.”