The dome for Hinkley Point C’s first reactor building has been successfully lifted into place Friday (15 Dec) morning.
The world’s biggest crane, Big Carl, gently placed the spectacular dome onto the £26bn nuclear power station in Somerset.
The major milestone closes the roof on the first reactor building, allowing the first nuclear reactor to be installed next year.
The power station’s two nuclear reactors will provide reliable zero-carbon electricity for six million homes, boosting Britain’s energy security for decades to come.
Engineering teams lifted the 245-tonne steel dome precisely into place on top of the reactor building. The achievement ends the year on a high as the 14-meter-tall dome sits on top of the 44-meter-high reactor building.
The lift, starting at 07:20, was carefully planned to take advantage of a weather window to allow the hour-and-a-half-long maneuver to be completed in low wind conditions.
The dome is the top part of the reactor building’s inner containment – a steel cylinder encased in concrete. Measuring 47m (154.2 feet) in diameter, it is wider than the dome of St Paul’s Cathedral – and made up of 38 prefabricated panels which were shipped to Hinkley Point C and welded together in an onsite factory. Prefabrication and modular construction are key features of Hinkley Point C’s construction.
Earlier this month, the 750-tonne “Polar Crane” was lifted into place in a single piece above the reactor building’s third – and final – steel liner ring. This internal crane will rotate 360° above the reactor and be used for refueling and installing equipment.
Simon Parsons, Nuclear Island Area Director, said: “Building the first nuclear power station in a generation is a challenging job and the success of this complex operation is due to the determination and commitment of our fantastic teams.
“Lifting the dome allows us to get on with the fitting of equipment, pipes and cables, including the first reactor which is on-site and ready to be installed next year.”
Nuclear Minister Andrew Bowie said: “This is a major milestone in building Britain’s first nuclear reactor in a generation and a key part of the UK Government’s plans to revitalize nuclear.
“Generating enough zero-carbon power for six million homes, Hinkley Point C will reduce our reliance on imported energy and support our shift to net zero.”
Big Carl’s latest lift highlights the progress being made at Hinkley Point C, where 10,000 workers and 3,500 British companies are building a power station which is essential in helping Britain achieve Net Zero.
Hinkley Point C will power 6 million homes with reliable zero-carbon electricity made in the UK.
Produced in association with SWNS Talker
“What’s the latest with Florida Man?”
Get news, handpicked just for you, in your box.