The world’s biggest crane, known as Big Carl, has lifted the third and final liner ring onto the unit 1 reactor building at the UK’s Hinkley Point C NPP. The 304-tonne steel liner ring was the third and final ring to be installed on the building, raising the height by 11.6-metres to 44-metres. The liner ring, which was prefabricated in a factory on site, also features supporting brackets for the internal Polar Crane Beam, which 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 dome lift scheduled for 2023.

Big Carl, is 250m tall, moves on rail tracks, and will eventually lift pieces weighing more than 1,000 tonnes. The first Hinkley Point C ring was lifted into place in December 2020, the second in April 2021.

Hinkley Point C, when complete, will comprise two EPR reactors supplied by EDF. In May, EDF, following a review of the project, confirmed Hinkley Point C would begin operating a year later than planned and could cost up to GBP3bn ($3.7bn) more to build than originally budgeted. A previous estimate in January 2021 revised costs up by GBP500m to between GBP22-23 billion. It was originally estimated to cost GBP18bn.


Image: 'Big Carl' lifts final liner ring onto Hinkley Point's Unit 1 building (courtesy of EDF)