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Big Carl’s spectacular dome lift caps the year

Big Carl’s spectacular dome lift caps the year at Hinkley Point C

By Hinkley Point C media team | Posted December 15, 2023
  • World’s largest crane places 47m wide dome onto Hinkley Point C’s first reactor building
  • The 245- tonne lift closes the building and allows the next phase of work to accelerate
  • Pictures and video released of this major construction milestone
  • Lift allows first reactor to be installed next year 

The dome for Hinkley Point C’s first reactor building has been successfully lifted into place. The major milestone closes the roof on the first reactor building, allowing the first nuclear reactor to be installed next year. The power station’s two nuclear reactors will provide reliable zero-carbon electricity for six million homes, boosting Britain’s energy security for decades to come.

Engineering teams lifted the 245-tonne steel dome precisely into place on top of the reactor building this morning (Friday 15 December). The achievement ends the year on a high as the 14-metre-tall dome sits on top of the 44-metre-high reactor building.

The lift, starting at 07:20, was carefully planned to take advantage of a weather window to allow the hour-and-a-half long manoeuvre to be completed in low wind conditions. Pictures [and video to follow shortly] of the spectacular operation can be downloaded here. 

The dome is the top part of the reactor building’s inner containment – a steel cylinder encased in concrete. Measuring 47m in diameter, it is wider than the dome of St Paul’s Cathedral – and made up of 38 prefabricated panels which were shipped to Hinkley Point C and welded together in an onsite factory.  Prefabrication and modular construction are key features of Hinkley Point C’s construction. 

Earlier this month, the 750 tonne “Polar Crane” was lifted into place in a single piece above the reactor building’s third – and final – steel liner ring. This internal crane will rotate 360° above the reactor and be used for refuelling and installing equipment.
 
Simon Parsons, Nuclear Island Area Director, said: “Building the first nuclear power station in a generation is a challenging job and the success of this complex operation is due to the determination and commitment of our fantastic teams.  

“Lifting the dome allows us to get on with the fitting of equipment, pipes and cables, including the first reactor which is on site and ready to be installed next year.”  


Nuclear Minister Andrew Bowie said: “This is a major milestone in building Britain’s first nuclear reactor in a generation, and a key part of the UK Government’s plans to revitalise nuclear.  

“Generating enough zero-carbon power for six million homes, Hinkley Point C will reduce our reliance on imported energy and support our shift to net zero.”  


Big Carl’s latest lift highlights the progress being made at Hinkley Point C, where 10,000 workers and 3,500 British companies are building a power station which is essential in helping Britian achieve Net Zero. Hinkley Point C will power 6-million homes with reliable zero carbon electricity made in the UK.

Downloads

Big Carl’s spectacular dome lift caps the year
Big Carl has lifted the 245-tonne domed roof onto the first reactor building.
At 47 metres in diameter, it’s wider than St. Paul’s Cathedral’s dome.
At 47 metres in diameter, it’s wider than St. Paul’s Cathedral’s dome.
It takes Britain a big step towards Net Zero and stronger energy security.
It takes Britain a big step towards Net Zero and stronger energy security.
Teams waited for the perfect wind conditions to lower the dome into place.
Teams waited for the perfect wind conditions to lower the dome into place.
The dome closes the first reactor building – so the reactor can be installed in 2024.
The dome closes the first reactor building – so the reactor can be installed in 2024.
The steel dome is made up of 900 welds.
The steel dome is made up of 900 welds.
Drone shots from Dome lift
Dome lift footage

About EDF

EDF is helping Britain achieve Net Zero by leading the transition to a cleaner, low emission, electric future and tackling climate change. It is the UK’s largest producer of low-carbon electricity(1) and supplies millions of customers with electricity and gas.

It generates low carbon electricity from five nuclear power stations and more than thirty onshore wind farms and two offshore wind farms.

EDF is leading the UK's nuclear renaissance with the construction of a new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point C, and there are advanced plans for a replica at Sizewell C in Suffolk. Hinkley Point C and Sizewell C will provide low carbon electricity to meet 14% of UK demand and power around 12 million homes.

EDF is one of the UK’s largest investors in renewables, with more than 1GW of renewable generation in operation and over 5GW in construction, planning and development across a range of technologies including onshore and offshore wind, solar and battery storage. We are constructing our largest offshore wind farm in Britain – the 450 MW Neart na Gaoithe project in Scotland.

EDF is helping its customers, both in business and at home, take their first steps to sustainably powering their lives. Whether it is buying an electric car, generating and storing electricity, selling energy back to the grid or installing a heat pump. EDF is one of the largest suppliers to British business and a leading supplier of innovative energy solutions that are helping businesses become more energy independent. In addition, the company’s energy services business, Dalkia, is one of the largest technical service providers in the UK and Ireland.

EDF is part of EDF Group, the world’s biggest electricity generator. In the UK, the company employs around 14,000 people at locations across England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland.

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