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EDF: Second reactor base completed at Hinkley C nuclear project in U.K.

Crews at Britain’s only current nuclear power plant construction project reached another milestone with completion of the second reactor base.

The 49,000 metric tonne reactor base of Hinkley Point C’s second unit was completed on schedule, according to plant developer and French-based firm EDF Energy. Construction on the planned 3,200-MW nuclear power plant in Somerset began in December 2018 and may be completed by 2025.

The $28 billion project is expected to generate carbon-free electricity for 60 years, according to reports. The first reactor base was completed one year ago this month.

“I want to thank workers and our union partners for their extraordinary efforts to make safe working possible during the pandemic,” Hinkley Point C Managing Director Stuart Crooks said in a statement. “They have adapted to major changes in everyday behaviors and working practices which would have been unimaginable a few months ago.

“The commitment of our specialist suppliers across the UK and in Europe has also been instrumental in helping us safely achieve this major milestone,” Crooks added. “And we must never forget the duty of care we owe to our community, whose ongoing support is vital to the success of our project.”

Areva will supply two pressurized water reactors for the Hinkley Point C station. Firms involved with the work there or to eventually supply components include Wood and GE, among others.

EDF says that Unit 1 should be generating power by the end of 2025. Financing for the Hinkley Point C project is coming from parent firm EDF and Chinese nuclear power provider CGN.

Once completed, Hinkley Point C would be the nation’s first new nuclear generating capacity since the 1990s. EDF currently operates 15 nuclear reactors in the U.K.

(Rod Walton is content director for Power Engineering and POWERGEN International. He can be reached at 918-831-9177 and [email protected]).