HFT visit Hinkley Point, the largest construction site in Europe

Through the Wales Nuclear Forum, we were recently invited on a tour of Hinkley Point C, the largest construction site in Europe, a project to construct a 3,200 MWe nuclear power station with two EPR reactors in Somerset, UK.

The landscape of Hinkley Point is dominated by two nuclear power stations:

  • Hinkley Point A, with two Magnox reactors, which is now closed.
  • Hinkley Point B, with two advanced gas-cooled reactors in one building.

The Government has announced its support for a third nuclear power station at Hinkley Point. Electricité de France (EDF) are building a power station consisting of two European Pressurized Reactor (EPR) units, named Hinkley Point C. The Government said that the new Hinkley Point and Sizewell C power stations would contribute 13% of UK electricity in the early 2020s.

Our Managing Director Georgia was lucky enough to visit Hinkley Point C and said: “So far the ‘big hole’ has been dug and the concrete poured for the nuclear islands. Aggregate is being delivered constantly from a local quarry and the concrete is being produced on-site. The jetty has been built and is being used to bring in materials by sea.”

”The tunnel boring machines are now ready to start boring into the sea in order to lay the piping that will bring the water into the facility. This will be drawn at something like 140,000 litres per minute.”

“First we drove around the nuclear island. The depth and scale is immense. Some of the earth moving plant is huge. The reactors will sit on the giant concrete pad and the one for Reactor A is now complete.”

“It is a phenomenal project, the facts and figures are mind-blowing:

  • Up to 6000 workers will be on-site once this initial stage is completed.
  • The tunnel boring machines are 8m high.
  • Over 4 million tonnes of earth will be excavated.
  • This is the largest construction site currently in Europe.”

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