Big Carl’s biggest lift ends 2020 at Hinkley Point C
Big Carl, the world’s largest crane, has just completed its biggest ever lift at Hinkley Point C. The super-crane lifted a total weight of 575 tonnes to install the first of three massive prefabricated steel rings which form the reinforced cylinder around the nuclear reactor.
The 17m tall ring with a diameter of 47m – was lifted out of a bunker where it was constructed in factory conditions – one of the innovations to improve quality on the project. Big Carl reached out 160m to put it in place during a night lift – timed to take advantage of lighter winds during a four-day operation.
Despite the challenge of operating under Coronavirus restrictions, the final big lift of the year was one of many significant milestones achieved in 2020. These include the completion of the first 3.5km cooling water tunnels and the reactor base of unit two. The power station will help Britain reach Net Zero by producing reliable low carbon electricity for more than 6m homes.
- The first steel containment ring weighs 382 tonnes – around the weight of a 747 Jumbo jet - lifting gear took the total lift weight to 575 tonnes.
- The liner ring is the second of five pieces that make up the steel containment for each reactor, including the base and the dome.
- Big Carl is 250m tall, moves on rail tracks and will eventually lift pieces weighing more than 1,000 tonnes
- The ring was gently placed on 96 hydraulic jacks which lowered the ring into its exact position
Hinkley Point C Managing Director Stuart Crooks said: “This spectacular lift is a remarkable achievement in a year when everyone has had to make extraordinary efforts to keep the site and community safe from infection. The precision involved is like watch-making on an industrial scale.
“Our ability to maintain progress in such tough circumstances is a testament to the commitment of the workforce and our suppliers across Britain and the world. Construction of Hinkley Point C’s two reactors continues to provide evidence that repeating an identical design improves quality and efficiency – something that will bring big benefits to Sizewell C in Suffolk.”
EDF is helping Britain achieve Net Zero by leading the transition to a cleaner, low emission electric future and tackling climate change. We're Britain’s biggest generator of zero-carbon electricity(1), meeting around one-fifth of the country’s demand and supplying millions of customers with electricity and gas.
With around 5 million accounts, EDF is one of the largest suppliers to British homes and businesses and a leading supplier of innovative energy solutions that are helping businesses become more energy independent. All of our home and small business customers get energy tariffs backed by zero-carbon electricity as standard.
We generate low carbon electricity from eight nuclear power stations, more than thirty onshore wind farms and two offshore wind farms, and operate one of Britain’s biggest battery storage units, one gas and one coal power station, thousands of EV charge-points, and combined heat and power plants. Wind, nuclear and solar all produce electricity that is zero carbon at the point of generation and have similar emissions over the build, run and retire lifecycles.
EDF is leading the UK's nuclear renaissance with the construction of a new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point C, and is leading the development of 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 1GW of renewable generation in operation and over 4GW 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 which will be ready in 2023.
Our energy services business, Imtech, 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 we employ around 13,000 people.
CGN is a leading global clean energy company. It has the largest nuclear generating capacity in China, the third largest worldwide, and is a leading developer of new nuclear power globally. The company has more than 30 years’ experience of safely and effectively developing, constructing and operating nuclear plants. It has 24 units in operation in China, with a total installed generating capacity of 27.14GW, and a further 5 units (5.78GW) under construction.
CGN is also a major investor in renewable energy, and has over 30GW of installed capacity in 15 countries around the world. In the UK the company is investing in and bringing its industrial expertise to Hinkley Point C, Sizewell C and Bradwell B, as well as the project to secure regulatory approval for its HPR1000 reactor design. CGN also has 340MW of wind power in operation in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Ireland.
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