Big Carl, the world’s largest crane, lifted a huge 304-tonne steel liner ring onto Hinkley Point C’s first reactor building in the early hours of Monday (December 12th).

It was the third and final ring to be installed on the building, which will eventually contain one of Hinkley Point C’s two nuclear reactors. The unit has now grown in height by 11.6m and stands at 44m.

EDF says that still weather with no wind allowed engineers to carry out the massive lift overnight.

The super-crane, called Big Carl, is 250m tall, moves on rail tracks, and will eventually lift pieces weighing more than 1,000 tonnes.

The liner ring, which was prefabricated in a factory on site, also features supporting brackets for the Polar Crane Beam. This internal crane will rotate 360° above the reactor and be used for refuelling.

The reactor building now only has the “lid” to be placed on top, with the iconic dome lift scheduled for next year.

Big Carl lifted the first Hinkley Point C ring into place in December 2020, the second in April 2021, and the world’s biggest crane lifted a 347-tonne steel ring into place at Hinkley Point in March this year.

Earlier this year, EDF confirmed that there would be a further year-long delay and £3bn cost increase. This delayed the start date for the Unit 1 reactor to June 2027, with the cost sitting at £25bn to £26bn, up from the previous £23bn figure. The power station will supply 6M homes with energy.

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