The construction of the base of Unit 2 at the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station development in Somerset has set the UK record for the largest single concrete pour – 8,991 cubic metres!
The second reactor base has been completed on schedule in spite of the pandemic, with a series of measures rolled out to help manage the possible spread of infection on site.
Plant operator EDF explained that numbers were reduced in order to ensure that social distancing measures could be followed, with only the most critical parts of construction concentrated on. Where social distancing couldn’t be implemented, extra protective equipment had been provided for workers.
Techniques used to build the second base have progressed since the first base was constructed, with greater use of large-scale prefabrication and digital approaches helping to improve predictability and reduce the building hours required. Steel was also installed at a rate 46 per cent faster for Unit 2, compared to Unit 1.
EDF went on to say that it now plans to replicate the approach used for Unit 2 for its proposed nuclear project Sizewell C, which will be based in Suffolk. A planning application for this was submitted in May.
Stuart Crooks, Hinkley Point C managing director, said: “Hinkley Point C has a strong culture of learning and innovation which is leading to improved productivity as we get ahead building our second identical reactor. This experience is a great basis for further identical reactors at Sizewell C in Suffolk.”
Hinkley Point C also recently smashed its goal of spending £1.5 billion with south-west bases, five years ahead of schedule. In all, £1.7 billion has now been spent with over 1,100 companies.
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