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Areal view of Hinkley Point C - image courtesy of EDF Energy.

Nuclear case study: Hinkley Point C

Hinkley Point C – The progress so far

Two years after Hinkley Point C was fully launched, the scale of construction and progress has been revealed by the release of new film footage of the project.

Full construction at Hinkley Point C got underway after EDF, its Chinese partner, CGN, and the UK Government, signed final contracts in September 2016. The power station will supply the UK with reliable low carbon electricity to meet 7% of the country’s needs. The project is mobilised for an objective of initial delivery for unit 1 at the end of 2025.

More than 3,200 people are now at work building the new nuclear power station in Somerset. The project is on track for its next major milestone in 2019 – the completion of the 4,500 tonne concrete platform on which the reactor buildings sit. This significant moment for the project is known as “J-0” and has been underpinned by the successful completion of the final design for the work.

The project is also setting its sights further ahead with preparation for the MEH phase (Mechanical, Electrical and HVAC – heating, ventilation and air conditioning). Four major UK contractors have now signed the “MEH Alliance” to work together on the complex installation of cabling and pipework in the power station’s 2,500 rooms. The innovative approach means that Altrad, Balfour Beatty Bailey, Cavendish Nuclear and Doosan Babcock will pool their expertise to work as a single entity. The alliance aims to create new industrial capacity and jobs by manufacturing specialist pipework in Britain.

Clarke Willmott’s pivotal role

Our team commented “The project is certainly having a positive impact in the region with £1.3bn worth of contracts awarded. We are proud to be the most experienced legal advisor on local Hinkley supply chain contracts, acting on three out of five of the local consortia contracts awarded to date.”

In addition, we are active members of the Professional Services Group (PSG), formed to assist companies wanting to supply into the Hinkley Point C construction project. The PSG is a collection of professional advisers who have experience supporting Hinkley Point C contracts or have been briefed on the project requirements. Our team have often presented at workshops, panel discussions and other events providing insights and guidance on legal frameworks, consortia and NEC3 contracts.

Hinkley Point C – key achievements

  • Work is advancing on reactor one with completion of its pre-stressing gallery: this structure sits below the reactor unit and will help to strengthen the main reactor building. Work on reactor two has also begun
  • ‘Deep dig’ is complete for Unit 1: this vast excavation is 21m below sea level and will contain the 54m tall water pumping station
  • 750 metres of underground concrete galleries are ready: these are the channels to house cables and pipes
  • A 500m jetty has been built to import aggregates by sea, minimising the environmental impact of construction
  • Concrete production has already topped 200,000 cubic metres 5.3 million cubic metres of earth have been moved
  • Work will be completed this year on the 760m sea wall. At 13.5m tall, it has been designed to cope with rising sea levels for the plant’s lifetime
  • £10.6bn of contracts have been awarded with £1.3bn in the South-West and 64% of the project value is being built with UK firms
  • 250 of 1,000 apprentices have been hired and 400 schools have taken part in STEM education events
  • The first accommodation campus opened on schedule with 510 beds, a restaurant and gym. Using innovative pre-fabrication techniques, it was installed in just 8 months.

Hinkley Point C Managing Director, Stuart Crooks said: “Everyone working on the project should be proud of what they have achieved so far. Unions, contractors and suppliers are successfully working together with a complete focus on quality and safety. Innovation and experience from other projects is helping us boost productivity and get ready for the next stages. I am also proud of the positive impact that Hinkley Point C is having on the South-West. We are determined to create a positive legacy here for people, communities, jobs and skills.”

Contact a nuclear energy specialist today

Our nuclear specialists are based in Bristol, Taunton, Cardiff, Manchester, London, Birmingham and Southampton and are ready to discuss your case. Call today on 0800 652 8025 for a free consultation or get in touch online.

Images of Hinkley Point C courtesy of EDF Energy.

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