In Pictures: Hinkley Point C’s first reactor arrives

Source: WNN

Date: February 27, 2023

The first new nuclear reactor for a UK power station in more than three decades has finished its journey – by barge and then road – at the Hinkley Point C site in Somerset in southwest England.

There was a police escort for the extra large load (Image: EDF)


A series of photos, and timelapse video, taken by EDF, captured the last stage of the journey for the 13-metre, 500-tonne, reactor pressure vessel which was built by Framatome at its Le Creusot facility in Burgundy, central France. EDF Energy said teams had spent 80,000 engineering hours on the component’s construction.

Transporting it was no easy task, with a journey across land in France, and then by sea to Avonmouth Docks in Bristol, before being transported by barge to Combwich Wharf on the River Parrett in Somerset.

The penultimate stage of the journey was by barge (Image: EDF)

Combwich Wharf was refurbished to handle the extra large loads for Hinkley Point C (Image: EDF)

The four mile journey by road took five hours (Image: EDF)

It arrived safely at the site (Image: EDF)

The reactor pressure vessel is the high strength steel cylinder that will house the reactor core and all associated components including the reactor vessel internals which support and stabilise the core within the reactor vessel, as well as providing the path for coolant flow and guiding movement of the control rods.

Its arrival on the site marks a milestone for Hinkley Point C – which will feature two EPR reactors of 1630 MWe each – and construction of which began in December 2018. In May 2022 EDF said the start of electricity generation for unit 1 was expected in June 2027 – compared with the 2025 target set in 2016 – and the project completion costs were estimated in the range of GBP25-26 billion (USD 30-31 billion) in 2015 prices.



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