The United Kingdom set a new record for the longest concrete pour, which ended on Friday, at the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station in Somerset.
The record is for the longest, continuous concrete pour in the UK, at 8,991 cubic meters (11,759 cubic yards).
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ENF is building Hinkley Point C nuclear power station, a project to construct a 3,200 MWe nuclear power station with two EPR reactors. The station is expected to last 60 years and cost between £19.6 billion and £20.3 billion. It is expected to be completed by 2025 and aims to produce reliable, low carbon electricity alongside renewable power.
On Friday, workers finished pouring concrete for the project's second nuclear reactor base.
Due to COVID-19, workers are wearing extra personal protective equipment (PPE) to keep the project on schedule.
“I want to thank workers and our union partners for their extraordinary efforts to make safe working possible during the pandemic," says Hinkley Point C Managing Director Stuart Crooks. "They have adapted to major changes in everyday behaviors and working practices, which would have been unimaginable a few months ago. The commitment of our specialist suppliers across the UK and in Europe has also been instrumental in helping us safely achieve this major milestone. And we must never forget the duty of care we owe to our community, whose on-going support is vital to the success of our project."
Their achievement, known as “J-zero”, comes less than a year after the completion of the first reactor’s base in June 2019. It is the second major goal in 2020 and the successful completion of both follows the achievement of all the project goals in 2019. The date for achieving J-zero on Unit 2 was set more than four years before the final investment decision was taken.
Completion of the second reactor base also benefited from experience gained on the first identical unit – which has led to significant increases in productivity through steps such as increased use of prefabrication. This will benefit the proposed follow-up project at Sizewell C in Suffolk.
Construction during the coronavirus pandemic was able to continue after the project took a wide range of steps to ensure the safety of workers and the community. This included reducing numbers on site to enable social distancing and concentrating on the most critical areas of construction. Many health measures remain in place to prevent the spread of infection. Where social distancing is not possible, workers have been using additional PPE.
Further information on the measures taken at Hinkley Pont C during the Coronavirus crisis can be found here. New figures issued last week also show that Hinkley Point C beat its ambition to spend £1.5bn with regional businesses five years ahead of target.