The world’s largest crane, dubbed ‘Big Carl’ has lifted a 170t steel containment liner used in the construction of the second reactor at Hinkley Point C nuclear power station into place.
The lift came just nine months after the same lift for the first reactor. The second lift was performed 30% quicker than the identical part on unit one.
The liner cup is the base for the reactor’s steel containment which is being prefabricated in five parts and lifted into place by Big Carl.
Prefabricating the liner means that welding can take place in covered bunkers protected from weather, which client EDF Energy said would help to improve quality and efficiency.
The liner cup for Hinkley Point C’s second unit was built in 39 days versus 57 for the first. Its construction has been overseen by the BYLOR joint venture between Bouygues and Laing O’Rourke. The construction and lift were completed on schedule, despite workers having to adapt to coronavirus working conditions.
The cup is one of more than 500 prefabricated steel and concrete elements that Big Carl will lift, including whole sections of buildings, walls and pre-cast air ducts. The heaviest items weigh in at 1,600 tonnes.
Nigel Cann, Hinkley Point C construction delivery director said: “This milestone shows how replication and innovation are driving efficiency at Hinkley Point C as we build our second identical reactor on site. In turn that will benefit our planned third and fourth units at Sizewell C in Suffolk. Hitting the schedule during Coronavirus is a tribute to the workforce that has had to adapt to new ways of working to ensure the safety of the site and the community around it.”