Video: ‘Big Carl’ crane lifts dome for Hinkley Point C’s first reactor building into place

The world’s biggest crane, known as ‘Big Carl’, has lifted the dome for the first reactor building at UK nuclear power plant Hinkley Point C in Somerset into place.

The work paves the way for the first nuclear reactor to be installed next year.

Engineering teams lifted the 245-tonne, 14m-high steel dome onto the 44m-high reactor building on 15 December.

The 47m-diameter dome is the top part of the reactor building’s inner containment – a steel cylinder encased in concrete. It is made up of 38 prefabricated panels which were shipped to Hinkley Point C and welded together in an onsite factory.

Earlier this month, the 750 tonne “Polar Crane” was lifted into place in a single piece above the reactor building’s third – and final – steel liner ring. This internal crane will rotate 360° above the reactor and be used for refuelling and installing equipment.

At 47 metres in diameter the dome is wider than the dome of St. Paul’s Cathedral’s in London. At 47 metres in diameter the dome is wider than the dome of St. Paul’s Cathedral’s in London. (Image courtesy of EDF)

Bylor, a joint venture between contractors Bouygues and Laing O’Rourke, is building the nuclear power plant for client EDF Energy.

Simon Parsons, nuclear island area director, said: “Building the first nuclear power station in a generation is a challenging job and the success of this complex operation is due to the determination and commitment of our fantastic teams.

“Lifting the dome allows us to get on with the fitting of equipment, pipes and cables, including the first reactor which is on site and ready to be installed next year.”


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Andy Brown Editor, Editorial, UK - Wadhurst Tel: +44 (0) 1892 786224 E-mail: [email protected]
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