Hinkley Point base slab now in place

With completion of the UK’s largest ever concrete pour, the base slab is now in place for the country’s next nuclear power station and reactor construction is now set to begin above-ground.

Hinkley Point C has hit what lead developer EDF Energy is calling its biggest milestone to date, and it has hit it on schedule. The completion of the base for the first reactor, known as ‘J-zero’ means that the construction of the nuclear buildings above ground can now get going.

The final 9,000m3 of concrete was the largest concrete pour in the UK, EDF says, beating a record set by the Shard in London. Reinforced with 5,000 tonnes of Welsh steel, the base has been under consruction by Bouygues-Laing O’Rourke for six months.

The second Hinkley Point C reactor is on course to hit its own J-zero moment (Jalon Zero is a French term meaning ‘market-post zero) in June 2020. The 12-month separation is planned so that the same team can move between units.

Forgings for the pressure vessel and steam generators are now in production at Framatome in France and the world’s largest turbine is under construction at GE. Assembly of the huge Sarens SGC 250 crane is taking shape on site to allow prefabrication of large parts of the nuclear buildings.

Hinkley Point C managing director Stuard Crooks said: “I am proud of the talent and achievement of our diverse UK wokforce, our unions, our international supply chain and the design team in France. We are benefiting from direct experience from other EPR projects an a partner in CGN which understands the technology and the project”.