The first of three prefabricated steel rings to form the reinforced cylinder around the nuclear reactor at Hinkley Point C has been lifted into position by the world’s largest crane, dubbed “Big Carl”. Moving the 575t ring, which is 17m tall and has a diameter of 47m, is the biggest lift undertaken at the Hinkley site so far by the Sarens SGC-250 crane. The 5,000t capacity crane, which runs on rails, is expected to complete a 1,600t lift later in the project. The ring was manufactured on site in a bunker under factory conditions to ensure the quality and called for Big Carl to reach out over 160m to position the ring during a night shift timed to take advantage of low wind conditions. EDF has said that the lift is one of a number of milestones achieved on the project this year including completion of the first 3.5km cooling water tunnels and the reactor base of unit two.
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