The Bouygues/Laing O’Rourke joint venture responsible for building Hinkley Point C nuclear power station has completed the 49,000-tone base for the station’s second reactor on schedule.
Completion came after a final concrete pour of 8,991m3, setting a new UK record for a single, continuous pour.
It surpassed by 37m3 the previous record during construction of the base for Hinkley Point C’s first unit in June 2019.
The major milestone 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.
The second reactor base was identical to the first, allowing increases in productivity though steps such as increased use of prefabrication which client EDF said would benefit the proposed follow-on project at Sizewell C in Suffolk.
As a result of the coronavirus crisis, there has been a reduced number of workers on site to enable social distancing and concentrating on the most critical areas of construction. 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.
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.”