What is Hinkley Point C and how has its construction changed?

16 January 2019
Like other nuclear construction projects, Hinkley Point C has seen a lot of controversy. However, despite initial challenges, construction went ahead and over the last 2 years it has seen considerable development take place.

A flourishing energy project

Located in Somerset, Hinkley Point C has flourished into a prosperous energy project that employs a 3,200-strong workforce. Another 25,000 job opportunities are expected to be created by the construction and development of the project and according to its managing director “the plant continues to have a positive effect on the southwest.”

What does Hinkley Point C deliver?

Hinkley Point C is designed to offer the UK a reliable supply of low carbon power. Once fully operational, the site will have the capacity to meet up to 7% of the UK’s needs. The UK’s Nuclear Energy Minister has said that “Hinkley Point C has a crucial role to play in the country’s transition to clean energy and will provide power for roughly six million homes for a period of 60 years.”

Changes to Hinkley’s construction over the past two years

It took just 8 months to complete the first campus. Hinkley Point C now offers accommodation for over 500 people, including a restaurant and gym facilities.

J-0 phase completion
A 4,500 tonne concrete platform, known as ‘J-0’ has been built to support the reactor buildings.

Reactor One
Over the past 2 years, the work carried out on reactor one has been moving ahead significantly. Notable accomplishments include the pre-stressing gallery that has now been completed, which helps to strengthen the main building.

Jetty construction
One of Hinkley Point C’s measures to minimise environmental impact is the construction of a 500-metre Jetty. The Jetty will be used to import aggregate from ships which will be transported to the construction site.

Contracts and apprentices
£10.6bn worth of contracts have been awarded and over a quarter of the apprenticeships already filled in the last two years.

The sea wall
A 760m sea wall is due to be completed in 2019. Designed to protect the plant from rising sea levels.