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Big Carl speeds to HPC milestone

15 Sep 20 Construction of the second nuclear reactor at Hinkley Point C has passed a key milestone with the lifting of the first part of the steel containment liner.

170-tonne liner cup is lifted onto the second reactor unit
170-tonne liner cup is lifted onto the second reactor unit

This milestone was reached 30% more quickly than the identical stage on Unit 1 nine months ago.

As before, lift the 170-tonne ‘liner cup’ into place was carried out by Belgian heavylift specialist Sarens, using its SGC-250 lattice-boom ring-mounted crane, known as Big Carl.

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.  This means that welding can take place in covered bunkers protected from weather.

The liner cup for Hinkley Point C’s second unit was built in 39 days as opposed to 57 for the first. 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.

Hinkley Point C construction delivery director Nigel Cann 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.”

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