What is Hinkley Point C and how has the construction changed over the past 2 years?
Like any nuclear power project, Hinkley Point C has had its fair share of controversy. However, construction went ahead and the last two years have seen a wide range of development take place at the UK plant. In fact, the scale of construction since 2016 has been significant and Hinkley Point C is on track to meet the next set of deadlines that have been defined for 2019.
A thriving energy project
Hinkley Point C is located in Somerset and has become a thriving energy project that now employs more than 3,200 people. Construction over the past two years has run to time ever since the final contracts were signed between the UK government, EDF and Chinese partner, CGN. More than 25,000 job opportunities were created by the construction and development of Hinkley Point C and the plant continues to have a positive impact on the South-West, according to its Managing Director Stuart Crooks.
What does Hinkley Point C provide?
Hinkley Point C was established in order to provide the UK with a reliable supply of low carbon electricity. Eventually, the plant will be able to meet 7% of the country’s needs with initial delivery set to begin in 2025. According to the UK’s Nuclear Energy Minister, Hinkley Point C has a crucial role to play in the country’s transition to clean energy and will provide power for roughly six million homes for a period of 60 years.
Changes in construction over the past two years
J-0 phase completion
The 4,500-tonne concrete platform that supports the reactor buildings has already been completed – known as “J-0” phase.
One of Hinkley Point C’s measures to minimise environmental impact is the construction of a 500-metre jetty to import aggregates by sea.
The first campus construction took just eight months. Hinkley Point C now has accommodation including more than 500 beds, a restaurant and a gym.
Channels for cables and pipes
750 metres of underground concrete channels have been created to house cables and pipes from the plant.
The work carried out on Reactor One has been moving ahead at pace over the past two years. For example, the pre-stressing gallery has now been completed, which will help to strengthen the main reactor building.
Work has also been begun on Reactor Two, albeit in the initial phases.
Unit 1 digging
A total depth of 21 metres below sea level has been excavated in order to make room for the 54m tall water pumping station for Unit 1.
The sea wall
In order to ensure that the plant is protected from rising sea levels, a 760m sea wall is nearing completion, due to be finished this year.
Contracts and apprentices
Over the past two years, £10.6bn of contracts have been awarded and a quarter of the apprenticeship positions available for the project have already been filled.
In the past two years, construction at Hinkley Point C has progressed significantly. Since the J-0 phase is now complete, the focus is now on the MEH phase (Mechanical, Electrical and HVAC – heating, ventilation and air conditioning), which will be the project’s next big milestone.
Innovation and development in construction are key to what we do at RG Group. Contact us to find out more.