EDF Energy Somerset Chamber of Commerce SWMAS Business West
  1. Hinkley Point C News Update – October 2019

    October 11, 2019

    Work starts on first intake tunnel

    The first of the Hinkley Point C’s (HPC) three tunnel boring machines, operated by Balfour Beatty, has successfully started the construction of intake tunnel 1.

    There will be three water cooling tunnels which will feed water to the power station when its operational.

    Balfour Beatty is using its factory at Avonmouth to create the 38,000 segments that will make up the 6,000 rings needed for the three tunnels.

    When built, the intake tunnels will be 6m in diameter and 3.5km long and draw 120,000 litres of water in from the Bristol Channel every second.

    The tunnel boring machine working on tunnel 1 has been named Mary by local primary school children after Lyme Regis palaeontologist Mary Anning.

    Twelve operators, including a pilot, run the 1,200-tonne machine, with support teams based at the surface. The multi-discipline team includes apprentices, graduates, quantity surveyors, ground surveyors and temporary works engineers.

    Laying the foundations for new electricity substation

    Work is now underway to create the new electricity substation that will plug HPC into the National Grid. Led by National Grid, a team from Linxon has been working on the building’s foundations. As part of the wider project to bring power from HPC to UK homes and businesses, National Grid will use new T-pylon designs for the first time anywhere in the world for the 57km connection between Bridgwater and Avonmouth. In total, 13 new pylons will be built nearby to connect the power station to the national network. James Goode, National Grid Senior Project Manager, said: “We’re pleased and proud to be bringing HPC’s electricity to the network. This is also a fantastic opportunity to inspire the next generation of engineers and young people across the region to take up STEM careers.”

    Fourth concrete batching plant completed

    The fourth and final batching plant has been set to work, mixing high-quality nuclear standard concrete. Mechanical and electrical works on the batching plant were completed at the end of September. Since then, the team responsible for delivering the huge volumes of concrete needed have put it through its paces and it’s now supplying concrete that is Quality Related Activity (QRA) approved. Peter Abel, Chief Materials Officer at Bylor, said: “We’ve done a lot of the learning with the first three plants and we’ve got it down to a rapid process now with plant 4.”

    Like its fellow batching plants, the fourth can produce 70m3 of concrete per hour. Plants 1, 2 and 3 have supplied more than 450,000m3 of concrete to the Project so far. Peter added: “Having a fourth plant now gives us total flexibility.”

  2. Hinkley Point C News Update – September 2019

    September 16, 2019

    Big Carl ready for next big milestone

    Sarens SGC-250

    The world’s largest crane is ready to start work at the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station site. Able to stand up to 250m tall, “Big Carl” can reach higher than the tallest tower at London’s Canary Wharf and can carry 5,000 tonnes in a single lift.

    The new Sarens SGC-250 crane was shown off on-site at Hinkley Point C today where it will be used to lift large prefabricated sections of the power station into place. The crane was developed to support the growing trend towards modularisation in big construction – and its deployment allows Hinkley Point C to exploit this innovation on a large scale.

    The crane’s huge size and capacity allows large components to be built in covered factory conditions on site, improving quality and saving time. The success of prefabrication has already been proved during construction of the two operational EPRs built by EDF and CGN at Taishan in China. Its use at Hinkley Point C is another example of the innovation made possible by experience gained and applied from other nuclear construction projects.


    Pipes in progress

    Hinkley Point C’s Tier 1 contractor Socea Denys completed its biggest concrete pour to date in August, placing 1,900m3 of concrete for the Unit 1 inlet cooling water pipe. Construction of the cooling pipe means Bylor can start building the Unit 1 turbine building later in the year. The name ‘CRF’ comes from the French term ‘Circuit de Refroidissement’, meaning cooling water circuit.

    Balfour Beatty has made significant progress in the construction of the cooling water tunnels, as the first permanent segment ring has been installed into intake tunnel 1. The ring is made up of six segments, all of which have been built by the Balfour Beatty team in the Avonmouth segment factory.


    Liner cup takes shape

    A specialist welding machine was used to perform 36 plasma welds for the first liner cup. The liner cup forms one of the five parts of the the first reator’s containment liner.

    The high-quality welding process ensures the liner cup bottom is completely flat. Plates are then cut to complete the circular cup.


    Pump House progress

    The Bylor Heat Sink team is making progress constructing the Pump House. More than 9,000m³ of concrete has been poured to complete the first raft slab, which will reinforce and strengthen the Pump House and its cooling water system. A network of steel cylinder concrete pipes (SCCP), which will eventually transport seawater from the Bristol Channel to the condenser via the Pump House, has arrived on Site. The first concrete pour for the Unit 2 raft in the Heat Sink has begun and walls are being constructed for the 54m-high Pump House.



  3. Hinkley Point C hits it’s biggest milestone yet

    June 28, 2019

    Hinkley Point C has hit its biggest milestone yet on schedule. The completion of the base for the first reactor, known as “J-zero”, means that the construction of the nuclear buildings above ground can now begin in earnest.

    The final 9,000m³ of concrete was the largest concrete pour in the UK, beating a record set by the Shard in London.  Reinforced with 5,000 tonnes of Welsh steel, the base has been under construction by the UK-French joint venture of Bouygues-Laing O’Rourke for six months.

    The event is due to be marked by a visit from the minister responsible for nuclear energy, Andrew Stephenson MP, who will see the construction site today (Friday June 28) and meet apprentices at the National College for Nuclear.

    Good progress and efficiency improvements means that the second Hinkley Point C reactor will hit its own J-zero moment in June 2020.

    Final contracts have now been signed for an innovative joint venture to install the pipes and cables at the power station. The MEH (mechanical, electrical and heating, ventilation and air conditioning) Joint Venture (JV) brings UK contractors Balfour Beatty, Cavendish, Altrad and Doosan together to share expertise and incentivise collaboration and efficiency. The JV was influenced by the success of a single organisation carrying out this complex work during construction at Taishan, the EPR nuclear power station operating in China.

    Pipework will be made by Bilfinger, in Immingham, at a modernised facility which will boost UK industrial capacity in this highly-specialised area.

    Hinkley Point C is working to tackle the UK skills shortage in welding by working with the MEH JV, the Engineering Construction Industry Training Board, the Weldability Foundation, South West Institute of Technology and Bridgwater & Taunton College, to develop a new welding centre of excellence in Bridgwater.

    Making use of EDF Energy’s £4.5 million investment at the college, the centre will train and qualify the UK’s next generation of welders, benefitting people and industries across the South-West. With the ambition to provide 350-500 welding NVQ qualifications per year, the initiative shows nuclear’s ability to create a positive impact for UK skills.

    Hinkley Point C’s reliable low carbon electricity will play a vital role in helping the UK tackle the climate change crisis. With a large expansion of renewables, it will make “net zero” emissions possible and help the UK have an affordable and secure electricity supply.  Innovation and the transfer of design, skills and experience from Hinkley Point C means the proposed near-identical project at Sizewell C can be significantly cheaper to build and finance, and that subsequent projects at Bradwell B and elsewhere will also benefit.

    The construction of the second of Hinkley Point C’s two units is well underway and is already showing the improved efficiency possible when an identical design is repeated. The 12 months separation offers maximum efficiency for the transfer of teams between units.

    • Almost 4,000 people are now working at Hinkley Point C. Half of them are from the local area
    • Forgings for the pressure vessel and steam generators are underway at Framatome in France and the world’s largest turbine is under construction at GE
    • The world’s largest crane – the Sarens SGC 250 – is taking shape on site to allow prefabrication of large parts of the nuclear buildings, which improves quality and saves time. This is an innovation informed by experience from previous EPR projects
    • £1.5bn of contracts have been awarded in the South-West and 64% of the project value is being spent with UK firms
    • 430 of 1,000 apprentices have been hired and 8,500 people have been trained and assessed at the specially built Construction Skills and Innovation Centre near the site

    Minister for Nuclear at the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy, Andrew Stephenson said: “This is a huge achievement for Hinkley Point C and a major milestone for the UK’s nuclear new-build industry, which – as a low-carbon electricity source -is key to meeting our ambitious target of net zero emissions by 2050.

    “The project will not only power nearly six million homes, it will add an enormous boost to the local and national economy, delivering over 25,000 new jobs and securing long-term, well-paid employment – a key step in delivering clean growth as part of our modern Industrial Strategy.”

    Hinkley Point C Managing Director, Stuart Crooks said: “I am proud of the talent and achievement of our diverse UK workforce, our unions, our international supply chain and the design team in France. We are benefitting from direct experience from other EPR projects and a partner in CGN which understands the technology and the project

    EDF Energy CEO Simone Rossi said: “Hinkley Point C’s progress is good news for anyone concerned about the climate change crisis.  Its reliable low carbon power will be essential for a future with no unabated coal and gas and a large expansion of renewable power. The innovation at Hinkley Point C sets up the opportunity to reduce costs for consumers for a near identical power station at Sizewell C in Suffolk.”

    CGN UK CEO Zheng Dongshan said: “CGN is proud to play an integral part in the Hinkley Point C project as an industrial partner to EDF, bringing our experience from successfully developing the EPR at Taishan, in China.  The project paves the way for a full new nuclear programme that will include our proposal to build our HPR1000 reactor in the UK.”


  4. HPC News Update – June 2019

    June 17, 2019

    Balfour Beatty pour first nuclear concrete at Avonmouth

    The Balfour Beatty team poured the UK’s first nuclear concrete away from a nuclear site when they began work on one of the six 5,000 tonne reinforced concrete heads which will cap the cooling water tunnels under the Bristol Channel. In total, 38,000 segments for 6,000 complete rings are required in the build of the three cooling water tunnels.

    Kier BAM pushes ahead

    The Kier Bam team working on the preparations for the station’s cooling systems have completed more than 70% of the concrete blinding, while good progress has been made on the southern section of Unit 2 by the Deep Dig team. The wave return units are being installed on the Sea Wall and the stairs to the east and west of the wall are being constructed. Backfill work is continuing behind the wall.

    HPC up for a host of awards

    HPC has been nominated in seven categories at this year’s South West Built Environment Awards. The prestigious awards bring together organisations and projects in the local construction industry to celebrate the region’s best performers. The award ceremony takes place on 14 June in Bristol. The project is in the running for the People Development Award, Innovation Award and Offsite Project of the Year, among others. For more information, visit www.buildswawards.org.uk

    Centre of attention

    The Hinkley Point Visitor Centre, shared by both Hinkley Point B and Hinkley Point C welcomed its 100,000th guest. Located in Bridgwater’s Angel Place Shopping Centre, it’s a one-stop shop for anyone looking for information on EDF Energy activities across Somerset and throughout the UK. You can also book guided tours of Hinkley Point B and C.



    Taken from The Point June 2019


  5. HPC News Update – May 2019

    May 21, 2019

    HPC is on track to reach J0 this summer

    J0 – or ‘Jalon Zero’ – is a French term meaning ‘milestone zero’. At HPC it refers to the point when work starts on building the nuclear power station’s structures above ground. HPC is on track to reach J0 this summer when the final concrete is poured for the Common Raft.

    The journey to J0has been a monumental effort. A total of 5.6 million m3 of rock was excavated for the Deep Dig and 9,800m3 of concrete has been poured to date. The Common Raft is the base of the Unit 1 reactor, made of reinforced concrete and ensures the stability of the Reactor Building, Safeguard Buildings and Fuel Buildings that all rest on it. It’s designed to withstand earthquakes, aircraft strikes and an explosion or fire.

    Handover of Unit 2 Nuclear Island

    T1 supplier Kier BAM have successfully achieved their latest milestone – the handover of reactor nit 2’s Nuclear Island to Bylor – HPC’s main civils contractor. Tom Moore, Kier BAM Deep Dig Construction Manager, said: “The Kier BAM and EDF Energy delivery teams have worked tirelessly to deliver these works safely and to an exceptionally high standard. We’ve used the lessons learnt and good practice from Unit 1, specifically the sequence of construction and handover process, to improve programme delivery.”

    Pump House takes shape

    Bylor has now successfully completed the five concrete rafts for reactor Unit 1’s Pump House – the building that will eventually be the focal point for all of the power stations cooling water systems. Although it stands 54m tall, the Pump House is buried 36m deep on three sides. It contains cooling water systems and supporting functions, such as filtration and ventilation.

    Clearing the way for National Grid substation

    Kier BAM has completed the handover of the area to the south of site that will eventually be the location of HPCs substation – allowing it to transfer its low carbon electricity to the grid. The completion of the platform will now allow National Grid to begin works on the Shurton Substation grid connection.

    Work begins on Combwich Wharf

    As the site jetty gets ready for commissioning, refurbishment is also beginning soon on the existing wharf at Combwich. When it’s complete later this next year, the improvements at Combwich Wharf will allow large loads to arrive by sea and then be transported the short distance around Combwich via a designated access road, to the C182 and then on to the HPC site. The revamped wharf will help reduce the impact on local roads and traffic.


    • Hinkley Point C News Update – October 2019

      Work starts on first intake tunnel The first of the Hinkley Point C’s (HPC) three tunnel boring machines, operated by Balfour Beatty, has successfully started the construction of intake tunnel 1. There will be three water cooling tunnels which will feed water to the power station when its operational. Balfour Read more →

    • Hinkley Point C News Update – September 2019

      Big Carl ready for next big milestone The world’s largest crane is ready to start work at the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station site. Able to stand up to 250m tall, “Big Carl” can reach higher than the tallest tower at London’s Canary Wharf and can carry 5,000 tonnes Read more →

    • Hinkley Point C hits it’s biggest milestone yet

      Hinkley Point C has hit its biggest milestone yet on schedule. The completion of the base for the first reactor, known as “J-zero”, means that the construction of the nuclear buildings above ground can now begin in earnest. The final 9,000m³ of concrete was the largest concrete pour in the Read more →

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