The UK’s Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) has provided NNB Genco Ltd with consent to commence pouring of concrete for the nuclear island of unit 1 of the Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant in Somerset, England.
Announcing the consent on 23 November, ONR said the nuclear island will contain the unit’s reactor building, fuel building and the four electrical and safeguard divisions on one common reinforced concrete base slab. This cross-shaped base slab is known as the common raft, it added.
NNB Genco – holder of a nuclear site licence for HPC which ONR granted in November 2012 – is constructing two European Pressurised Reactor (EPR) units at HPC.
“Our inspectors will continue to regulate NNB GenCo to ensure that the high standards of safety and security expected in the UK is maintained at HPC,” the regulator said.
In March last year, ONR has granted its first consent for the start of construction work at HPC. That consent covered the placement of the structural concrete for the first nuclear safety-related structure at the site. This work included the placement of the first structural concrete for the ‘technical galleries’ of the plant. These are a series of underground reinforced concrete structures to be located beneath the site and some above-ground structures, connecting services such as cooling water and electricity,
Under a deal agreed in October 2015, China General Nuclear will take a 33.5% stake in EDF Energy’s project to construct HPC. It will be the first new nuclear power station to be built in the UK in almost 20 years and will provide about 7% of the country’s electricity.