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Hinkley Point C’s first reactor arrives on site [– with video]

27 Feb 23 The first new nuclear reactor for a British power station for more than 30 years has arrived in Somerset.

With the cranes of Hinkley Point C in the background, the 500-tonne load completes the last few miles of its journey from France by road
With the cranes of Hinkley Point C in the background, the 500-tonne load completes the last few miles of its journey from France by road

At 13-metres long and weighing 500-tonnes, the reactor pressure vessel will create the heat needed to make steam for the world’s largest turbines.

It is the first of two nuclear reactors that will be installed at Hinkley Point C.

The reactor pressure vessel has been made by Framatome in France, in the same factory that made the last nuclear reactor for a British power station at Sizewell B in Suffolk in the early 1990s. (Sizewell B  became operational in 1995.)

The reactor landed in Britain at Avonmouth Docks in Bristol before being transported by barge to Combwich Wharf on the River Parrett in Somerset. It reached Combwich Wharf on Friday (24th February 2023) and arrived on site yesterday (Sunday 26th February).

The final journey to site was a four-mile road trip on self-propelled modular transport (SPMT) axle-lines, which took five hours. Specialist contractor Osprey was charged with handling the transport and logistics.

It will be installed in the reactor building after the dome is lifted into place.

The reactor landed in Britain at Avonmouth Docks
The reactor landed in Britain at Avonmouth Docks

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