The “reactor pressure vessel” is only 13 metres long and weighs 500 tonnes, yet it has the capability to produce the necessary heat to generate steam for the world’s largest turbines. This vessel is the first of two nuclear reactors that will be stationed at Hinkley Point C, with each reactor being able to produce enough low carbon electricity to power 3 million homes. This will play a crucial role in helping Britain achieve Net Zero and enhancing its energy security.
The reactor was produced by Framatome in France, in the same factory that created the last nuclear reactor for a British power station at Sizewell B in Suffolk, which became operational in 1995. After arriving in Britain at Avonmouth Docks in Bristol, the reactor was transported by barge to Combwich Wharf on the River Parrett in Somerset, before being transported on a transporter for a 4-mile, 5-hour trip to its permanent location on the construction site.
With more than 8,000 employees working on-site each day, the reactor’s arrival marks a significant milestone for Hinkley Point C. After the dome is lifted into place, the reactor will be installed in the reactor building.