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.”