Video | Balfour Beatty starts tunnelling at Hinkley Point C

19 September 2019

Balfour Beatty has started tunnelling work at the new Hinkley Point C nuclear power station in Somerset, using three tunnel boring machines (TBM).

Balfour will install 38,000 pre-fabricated, nuclear-grade concrete segments required to support the three underground marine tunnels at up to 33 metres below the seabed of the Bristol Channel. 

The tunnels will form part of Hinkley Point C’s cooling system – one outfall and two intake tunnels -  and will have the capacity to transfer 120,000 litres of water per second.

Hinkley Point C will be the first power station in the Bristol Channel to include fish protection measures.

The first TBM has been named Mary by local primary school children in honour of Mary Anning, a local palaeontologist and fossil finder who lived her life in Lyme Regis. The 1,200-tonne machine, run by 12 operators, will able to reach a maximum speed of 120 millimeters per minute.

Alistair Geddes, Balfour Beatty project director, said: “This is a significant milestone, critical to the successful delivery of the first new nuclear power station in the UK for over 20 years. Having installed the first permanent segment ahead of schedule, this milestone is testament to Balfour Beatty’s expertise and to the collaborative approach required to deliver a project of this scale and complexity.”

Rob Jordan, Hinkley Point C construction director said; “The start of tunnelling at Hinkley Point C represents a hidden but vitally important milestone in the construction of the UK's first new nuclear power station in a generation. Delivered to schedule, this achievement underlines the continued progress being made to ensure that Hinkley Point C will be ready to supply the UK with the reliable low carbon electricity that it needs to combat climate change.”

Balfour Beatty is contracted to three major packages of works at Hinkley Point C. It was first appointed to deliver the electrical works package in a joint venture in 2015, the tunnelling and marine package in 2017 and most recently the 400kV overhead line project on behalf of National Grid in 2019.


The money that has been wasted on this project is a monumental disgrace

Sheila, 24 September 2019

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