The second of three massive containment rings to be constructed as part of the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station has been constructed 36% faster than the first.
Joint venture Bylor (Bouygues and Laing O’Rourke) recently oversaw the lift of the second ring from the bunker in which it was constructed to a lay-down area close by using the world’s largest land-based crane, Big Carl.
The 17m-tall ring, with a diameter of 47m was constructed quicker thanks to the experience of the teams that had built the first ring.
The prefabricated steel ring, which forms part of the reinforced cylinder around the nuclear reactor, was was constructed in factory conditions. Prefabrication inside these bunkers reduces the need to work at height or in bad weather and the work can be completed and checked in a controlled setting.
Big Carl will lift more than 500 prefabricated steel and concrete elements weighing up to 1,600 tonnes.
Stuart Crooks, Hinkley Point C managing director, said: “Our belief that we can do things better drives innovation at Hinkley Point C. As we build the first UK European Pressurised Reactor, we are learning and improving all the time. This is leading to improved productivity as we build Hinkley Point C’s twin reactors. We will use that experience to underpin our plans for two more identical reactors at Sizewell C.”