World’s Biggest Crane Lifts Huge Steel Ring at U.K. Nuclear Site
(Bloomberg) -- The world’s largest crane hoisted the first of three massive steel rings that will encase one of the reactors at Electricite de France SA’s nuclear construction site in the U.K., a key milestone in getting the project completed on time.
Operators of the 250-meter (820-foot) tall crane, affectionately known as “Big Carl,” lifted the ring that weighs as much as a jumbo jet overnight to take advantage of windless conditions.
Hinkley Point C is the U.K.’s first new nuclear power plant in more than two decades. Once up and running the reactor will generate electricity for six million homes by 2025.
It’s the largest and most advanced infrastructure project in the country and, when finished, will contain 3 million tons of concrete and 50,000 tons of structural steel, enough to build a railway line between London and Rome.
Earlier this year, Hinkley Point C’s managing director Stuart Crooks said that the project had missed two milestones. The plan is to catch up on the delays by the end of 2021, after the coronavirus pandemic limited work on-site and slowed supply chains this year.
Getting Hinkley Point C finished on time is crucial for EDF. The company is advancing plans for an identical set of reactors at Sizewell. This U.K. government announced it was starting talks with the utility to try to agree on a financing mechanism.
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