The forthcoming fit-out on the nuclear island of Unit 1 is described as a “mammoth undertaking” requiring a workforce of up to 4,000 at peak times, including welders, pipe fitters and electricians, working as an alliance.
This phase of work in Somerset will take place over three years with NNB Genco, the subsidiary created by EDF Energy, teaming up with four suppliers – Balfour Beatty Bailey, Doosan, Cavendish and Altrad.
Following an in-depth assessment by ONR of the MEH proposals submitted by NNB GenCo, the regulator has approved the start of this next phase of the project.
Construction at Hinkley Point C began in October 2016, bringing the project just past the five-year mark with projections made last year by EDF that the site should start generating power in mid-2026.
ONR’s regulatory approach has established a series of hold points which can only be passed after intense assessment and inspection before any permissioning decision. So far, most of the activity at Hinkley Point C has been in the field of civil construction but work on site is set to significantly increase around the installation of mechanical and electrical components and welding.
ONR has communicated with overseas nuclear regulators to understand the experiences of construction teams previously working on EPR reactor sites abroad and any issues encountered during the next installation phase.