VIDEO: EDF announces milestone on Hinkley Point nuclear power station
By Andrew Merrell | 28th June 2019
A major Gloucestershire employer behind probably the biggest infrastructure project in the UK, has announced it has reached a milestone.
According to energy business EDF, which has its UK headquarters in Gloucester where it employs 1,600 staff, Hinkley Point C has hit its biggest milestone yet on schedule.
The completion of the base for the first nuclear reactor, known as "J-zero", means that the construction of the nuclear buildings above ground can now begin in earnest.
Mr Stephenson said: "This is a huge achievement for Hinkley Point C and a major milestone for the UK's nuclear new-build industry, which - as a low-carbon electricity source is key to meeting our ambitious target of net zero emissions by 2050.
"The project will not only power nearly six million homes, it will add an enormous boost to the local and national economy, delivering over 25,000 new jobs and securing long-term, well-paid employment - a key step in delivering clean growth as part of our modern Industrial Strategy."
Stuart Crooks, Hinkley Point C managing director, said: "I am proud of the talent and achievement of our diverse UK workforce, our unions, our international supply chain and the design team in France. We are benefitting from direct experience from other EPR projects and a partner in CGN which understands the technology and the project."
Simone Rossi, EDF Energy CEO, said: "Hinkley Point C's progress is good news for anyone concerned about the climate change crisis. Its reliable low carbon power will be essential for a future with no unabated coal and gas and a large expansion of renewable power.
"The innovation at Hinkley Point C sets up the opportunity to reduce costs for consumers for a near identical power station at Sizewell C in Suffolk."
Zheng Dongshan, CGN UK CEO, said: "CGN is proud to play an integral part in the Hinkley Point C project as an industrial partner to EDF, bringing our experience from successfully developing the EPR at Taishan, in China.
"The project paves the way for a full new nuclear programme that will include our proposal to build our HPR1000 reactor in the UK."
The final 9,000 cubic metres of concrete was the largest concrete pour in the UK, beating a record set by the Shard in London.
Reinforced with 5,000 tonnes of Welsh steel, the base has been under construction by the UK-French joint venture of Bouygues-Laing O'Rourke for six months.
The minister responsible for nuclear energy, Andrew Stephenson MP, was due at the Somerset site today (Friday June 28) and was expected to meet apprentices at the National College for Nuclear.
Good progress and efficiency improvements means that the second Hinkley Point C reactor will hit its own J-zero moment in June 2020.
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