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HPC News update

December 30, 2018

Concrete Pour for the Common Raft

The first concrete pour for the base of Hinkley Point C’s unit one reactor has now been successfully completed. This 4,500 tonne platform provides the stable foundations for the reactor and safety systems. It is made from high quality nuclear concrete, reinforced with steel from South Wales. The first section of almost 2000m³ of concrete was poured over 30 hours with a maximum thickness of 3.2m. This final major milestone for 2018 means the project remains on track to complete unit one’s platform in summer 2019. The pour followed approval by the regulator, the Office for Nuclear Regulation and will be followed by four others to complete the platform during 2019.

EPR Technical Success

Unit 1 of China’s Taishan nuclear power plant has made history – becoming the first EPR (a type of Pressurised Water Reactor) to start commercial operation.

The first of two eventual units at Taishan, it was already the first EPR in the world to be connected to the grid in June. It hit its latest and final landmark moment on 13 December.

Each unit’s 1,750 MW capacity will generate enough power each year to meet the energy demands of a city the size of Paris.

The latest landmark is a historic milestone for the nuclear industry and an important step for the UK too as both Taishan and Flamanville in France use the same third generation reactor technology as Hinkley Point C.

The success of Taishan shows the importance of EPR technology. The new generation of nuclear power stations will be a key solution in fighting climate change, alongside renewable energy, as part of a very low carbon power generation mix. Taishan is also important as the knowledge and experience gained throughout its build is being directly applied to during the construction of HPC and, in future, Sizewell C.



TBMs Head to New Home

November saw HPC hit another landmark, as two of the three Tunnel Boring Machines (TBMs) for the water cooling tunnels made their journey from Germany to the UK. The machines’ components were shipped to Avonmouth and then on to Combwich Wharf, before they were taken to HPC by convoy. They will be assembled in the New Year, and tunnelling for the intake and outfall tunnels that reach into the Bristol Channel is expected to begin in February. The two intake tunnels will bring in seawater to cool down the reactors, while an outfall tunnel will take the seawater back to the Channel.


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