EDF Energy said this week that construction of the second reactor at the Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant had passed a major milestone with the lifting of the first part of the massive steel containment liner. The component was lifted by the world’s largest crane Big Carl, nine months after the same lift for the first reactor. Construction of the 170-tonne “liner cup” was 30% quicker at unit 2 than for the same activity at 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 means welding can take place in covered bunkers protected from weather, helping to improve quality and efficiency, EDF Energy said.
“This is learning from the construction of other EPR projects around the world. 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 1600 tonnes.
Nigel Cann, Hinkley Point C construction delivery director said: “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.”
Photo: Steel containment liner lifted into place for Hinkley Point C2 (Credit: EDF Energy)