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Hinkley Point C nuclear power project achieves latest major milestone on schedule
- Completion of second 49,000 tonne reactor base helped by productivity gains from replication strategy
- Sets new UK record for a single, continuous pour
- New Coronavirus safety measures have enabled work to continue
- New pictures and video shows progress on site as all project goals continue to be met
- Hinkley Point C has beaten targets for delivering benefits to South-West region
Workers building the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station have completed the 49,000-tonne base for the station’s second reactor on schedule - meeting a target date set more than four years ago.
The final concrete pour of 8,991m3 set a new UK record for a single, continuous pour. It surpasses by 37m3 the previous record during construction of the base for Hinkley Point C's first unit in June 2019.
The power station in Somerset will produce reliable low carbon electricity and – alongside renewable power - will help Britain move to a future without polluting fossil fuels.
This major milestone in nuclear construction was completed by teams who have had to adapt to new Coronavirus working conditions. Their achievement, known as “J-zero”, comes less than a year after the completion of the first reactor’s base in June 2019. It is the second major goal in 2020 and the successful completion of both follows the achievement of all the project goals in 2019. The date for achieving J-zero on Unit 2 was set more than four years, before the final investment decision was taken.
Completion of the second reactor base also benefited from experience gained on the first identical unit – which has led to significant increases in productivity through steps such as increased use of prefabrication. This will benefit the proposed follow-on project at Sizewell C in Suffolk.
Construction during the current Coronavirus crisis was able to continue after the project took a wide range of steps to ensure the safety of workers and the community. This included reducing numbers on site to enable social distancing and concentrating on the most critical areas of construction. Many health measures remain in force to prevent the spread of infection. Where social distancing is not possible, workers have been using extra protective equipment.
Work on the first reactor is also moving ahead and new pictures show the rapid progress made since its own “J-zero" 12 months ago.
The project has also been able to use its resources to support the local community and NHS during the crisis. Further information on the measures taken at Hinkley Pont C during the Coronavirus crisis can be found here. New figures issued last week also show that Hinkley Point C beat its ambition to spend £1.5bn with regional businesses five years ahead of target
Hinkley Point C Managing Director Stuart Crooks said: “I want to thank workers and our union partners for their extraordinary efforts to make safe working possible during the pandemic. They have adapted to major changes in everyday behaviours and working practices which would have been unimaginable a few months ago. The commitment of our specialist suppliers across the UK and in Europe has also been instrumental in helping us safely achieve this major milestone. And we must never forget the duty of care we owe to our community, whose on-going support is vital to the success of our Project.
“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 reactor s at Sizewell C in Suffolk.”
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Notes to editor
1. EDF and CGN are leading the UK's nuclear renaissance with the construction of a new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point C. This will provide low carbon electricity to meet 7% of UK demand. In 2019 the project met all of its milestones and remains on schedule.
2. EDF is leading the transition to a cleaner, low emission electric future, tackling climate change and helping Britain reach net-zero. It is the UK’s largest producer of low-carbon electricity, meeting around one-fifth of the country’s demand and supplying millions of customers with electricity and gas.
It generates low-carbon electricity from eight nuclear power stations, more than thirty onshore wind farms and two offshore wind farms, and operates one of Britain’s biggest battery storage units, one gas and one coal power station, EV charge-points, and combined heat and power plants.
EDF is part of EDF Group, the world’s biggest electricity generator. In the UK, the company employs around 13,000 people at locations across England and Scotland.
3. 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.
4. Eleven months after achieving J0 on Unit 1, HPC has completed the same milestone on its second identical reactor, Unit 2. Read how the knowledge gained on Unit 1 increased efficiency and productivity on Unit 2 here.