New milestone achieved in UK Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant's construction

06 Apr 2023

A new component of the reactor pools has been installed in the reactor building of Hinkley Point C. This is a major step in the completion of the largest infrastructure project in Europe, which will cut carbon emissions by 9 million tons per year in the country.

Since 2016, Tractebel has been part of the S-ICOS-H consortium (together with Egis and Setec), which carries out the detailed civil engineering design of the European Pressurised Reactor (EPR) nuclear island buildings at Hinkley Point in the United Kingdom. Our engineers have played a crucial role in installing the reactor cavity precast, a pool component, in the reactor building of Hinkley Point C’s unit 1. The milestone paves the way for the installation of the reactor building dome planned for this year.

Reactor cavity installation

In March 2023, the reactor cavity precast pool that weighs 730 tons was successfully installed in its final position inside the Reactor Building of Hinkley Point C’s Unit 1 using the big crane called “Big Carl”.

The element is a vital part of the inner structures of the reactor building, and Tractebel played a crucial role in its design, detailing, and site support. Its complexity is due to its complex geometry and delicate lifting conditions. Other elements like the interface with multiple equipment, its high-density reinforcement and the construction complexity made this lift a challenging task. Tractebel’s multidisciplinary and cutting-edge expertise was essential to addressing these challenges.

Lifting of reactor cavity

Reaching net-zero

As part of its net-zero strategy, the UK has chosen to increase its low-carbon electricity production, with a mix of renewable and nuclear energy. This mix will supply clean, secure, and affordable electricity to the country.

The construction of the Hinkley Point C EPR by EDF, which began in September 2016, is part of the strategy. It consists of 2 EPR reactors of 1,650 MW each.


"This new milestone in the construction of Unit 1 is the result of our teams’ rigorous and responsive work. As the designer of these elements from scratch, we are proud of our contribution to these achievements. This lifting demonstrates once again our ability to carry out the civil work design for complex low-carbon energy projects. These stages are crucial and show our ability to successfully deliver on time and with high-quality new build projects.”

Andrea Carletto, Head of Nuclear UK



Find out more about our nuclear expertise HERE. 

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