Tunnelling for the outfall and intake systems at Hinkley Point C’s technically demanding nuclear power station is now underway. On the ground at Hinkley Point C in Somerset, there is construction activity going on everywhere you look. Giant cranes tower over the first of two reactor bases while a traffic light system indicates when it is safe to cross the various walkways. A newly constructed 760m-long wall sits between the site and the sea. Beneath this surface activity, more is happening with the construction of the tunnels that will transport water used to cool the reactor in and out of the site. Contractor Balfour Beatty started the 12 month tunnelling programme at the nuclear power station in September. The tunnels will have the capacity to transfer 120,000 litres of cooling water per second, and not one but three will run under the Bristol Channel – 3.5km-long intake tunnels 1 and 2 run 33m below the seabed and one 1.8km outfall tunnel runs 24m below the seabed.
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