The construction site at Hinkley Point C changes every week. This is not surprising as the workforce is now over 3,800 and has multiple working areas where early construction work is taking place now that the major earthworks phase is complete. Work continues to build the network of roads and utilities necessary to allow the site to operate efficiently.
In March, the site witnessed the start of the construction of the first permanent, above ground building, the “Framatome Warehouse”. This building is being built by Bouygues UK and is utilising steelwork fabricated locally in Somerset. It will be used by the contractor responsible for assembling the nuclear steam supply system or NSSS.
The construction of the Unit 1 common raft (pictured) continues with a target to complete this in June. Two of the five very large concrete pours have taken place. This structure will provide the strong foundation for all the nuclear island buildings and is an internationally recognised milestone in the construction of nuclear power stations around the world.
Following close behind is the preparation of the platforms need to allow the construction of Unit 2. The Unit 2 team has benefited significantly from experience gained during the Unit 1 earthworks and, as a result, the excavation of Unit 2 has been 15% quicker than Unit 1.
Another visible addition to site are the construction bunkers needed to fabricate ring sections of the containment liners and the containment liner bases & domes. This work is being undertaken by Tissot and will allow the work to be carried out under cover. The bunkers include systems to provide shielding as the fabricated sections will be inspected using radiography.
Since the last newsletter, a notable landmark has been erected on site. This is the Marrs tower crane, which is the world’s strongest capacity tower crane in its class and will be used to lift the various components of the tunnel boring machines into place. To compliment this, the first sections of the Sarens SGC 250 heavy lift crane have arrived at Avonmouth. This massive crane will be assembled during 2019 and will be on site for 4 years. The crane will be lifting large components into place, including the containment liner sections, and has a maximum lift of 5,000 tonnes.
Further afield, EDF Energy launched the third round of consultation at Sizewell C in Suffolk. This project will be a near replica of Hinkley Point C and will benefit from the advances made in Somerset. EDF Energy will be working to ensure that local Suffolk businesses benefit from the project and the lessons learned at HPC are shared.