First Hinkley Point C Ready for Delivery

First Hinkley Point C Ready for Delivery


The reactor pressure vessel was built in France | EDF Energy

Tess de la Mare  | BBC News
December 16, 2022

Hinkley Point C’s first nuclear reactor is built and ready to be delivered.

The reactor pressure vessel is the first to be built for a British power station for more than 30 years. 

It was built in France by nuclear engineering company Framatome and is due to arrive to the Bridgwater site at some point in 2023. 

The 13m tall, high-strength steel cylinder weighs in at 500 tonnes and will hold the nuclear fuel and house the chain reaction that generates heat. 

Once in use, its core will have an average temperature of 300C. 

The heat will be used to create high pressure steam that will power some of the world’s largest turbines. 

The Framatome team spent 80,000 engineering hours on its construction. 

Nuclear reactor
The reactor’s core will have an average temperature of 300C once in use

A second reactor is due to be built and, once installed, they are together expected to power around three million homes, a spokeswoman for the site’s operator EDF Energy said. 

They are designed to run continuously for 18 months at a time between refuelling. 

Framatome built the last nuclear reactor to be installed in Britain – Sizewell B in Suffolk, which is also run by EDF. 

Since becoming operational in 1991, Sizewell B has provided 247 terawatt hours of power, according to the energy company.

The company said this was enough power to run every home in Britain for two-and-a-half years. 

Nuclear reactor
The unit to house the reactor is still being built

The building to house the reactor is still being built. 

On Monday, the world’s largest crane – dubbed “Big Carl” – lifted the final 11.6m prefabricated steel ring into place on Unit One. 

The building now stands at 44m high. 

Power generation at Hinkley Point C is expected to start in June 2027 – two years later than planned.