Six months after construction contracts were signed, concrete has been poured for the power station galleries that will carry cabling and pipes. They will be some of the first permanent structures on the site.
“This is the first piece of permanent construction on site and is a major achievement,” said construction director Rob Jordan.
Construction of the building for the first reactor at HPC is scheduled to start in 2019 when concrete will be poured to make the reactor platform.
EDF Energy now has 1,600 workers on site, along with 60 big pieces of plant equipment. Three million tonnes of concrete and 230,000 tonnes of steel reinforcement will be used in construction. The steel reinforcement is being supplied by Express Reinforcements from South Wales.
Three million cubic metres of soil and rock have already been excavated to prepare the ground for the power station buildings.
Construction work has also started on a 500-metre temporary jetty in the Bristol Channel, allowing 80% of the aggregate to be brought in by sea. Two piling rigs are drilling holes in the bedrock and have so far installed 18 piles. The jetty is due for completion in 2018.
An aggregate store with capacity for 57,000 tonnes is also under construction and work will soon begin on the conveyor systems to carry the aggregate around the site.
The first two of what will be 50 tower cranes have also been erected, with the larger one 40 metres high with a 60-metre jib and 16-tonne lifting capacity. These two cranes will serve a new metal workshop and formwork facility that will be built in the coming months.
Good progress is also being made on the sea wall which will provide a barrier between the power station and the coastline. Construction teams will need to excavate 165,000 m3 of material to build it.
Meanwhile, away from site in Nottinghamshire, Caledonian Modular has doubled its workforce to start making 15 on-site accommodation buildings for more than 500 workers.
The site campus will also have a canteen, laundry services, gym and recreational facilities including two all-weather sports pitches.
Hinkley Point C project director Philippe Bordarier said: “Pouring the concrete for the first permanent structure of HPC is a significant milestone. It is the outcome of many years of preparation and hard work from all our teams and supply chain across the UK and France. It demonstrates our ability to undertake the serious responsibility of nuclear power plant construction. Whilst we reflect on this great achievement we will continue to look for opportunities to improve, learn and teach others, embracing the values of the HPC project.”
EDF Energy’s managing director for new nuclear build, Humphrey Cadoux-Hudson, said: “We’re making good progress on many fronts as a result of the successful collaboration between all our teams. Our construction partners BYLOR and Kier Bam have played a particularly important role in getting us to this point.”