Hinkley Point C is the first of up to six new nuclear power plants expected to be built in the UK. Work on Hinkley C commenced soon after the Government's energy review agreed to a new generation of nuclear power plants in 2006. Since then the design of the EPR nuclear reactor received regulatory approval in 2012, a process that took 5 years and planning permission based on the site specific design was received in 2013. The project is now full steam ahead following EDF, the main investor on the project, making their final investment decision in July 2016 and approval being received from the UK government in September 2016.
The construction programme has an overall duration of 10 years, with the first of the two reactors expected to come on line in 2025. Following their final investment decision EDF are now awarding contracts to their Tier 1 suppliers. Some suppliers have been working on the project design and constructability for many years as preferred bidders. This included preliminary / enabling works contracts to allow for the establishment of concrete batching plants, road improvements, park and ride facilities and commencement of earthworks.
An overview of the expected timelines and role requirements are detailed in the following diagram.
Image courtesy of EDF Energy.
EDF Energy, is taking an active role in the management of the project and they will continue to assemble their project management and project controls client teams throughout 2017 located at the construction site, at their offices in Bridgwater and at the project HQ in Bristol. The client teams are a blend of EDF staff, contractors and resources seconded from leading professional services providers.
Detailed design is expected to continue through the initial phases of construction which may provide opportunities for design staff including 3-D CAD designers. Supply chain companies may also need additional design resources following award of their respective contracts.
The initial 12 to 18 months of the project will be focused on the provision of utilities to the site and undertaking the bulk earthworks. Other enabling works expected to be undertaken early in the project are the accommodation blocks and marine works used for materials and equipment delivery. The main civil works are anticipated to start ramping up in 2018 with structural concrete works commencing in 2019.
M&E works on the main power plant are expected to start approximately 4 years into the project and ramp up to a peak in year 6. While there is an intent to optimise off-site works significant on-site welding will be required early in the M&E phase.
The projected build-up of construction staff split into high level worker categories is detailed in the following diagram.
Image courtesy of EDF Energy.
It is anticipated that the construction workforce for Hinkley Point C will rise gradually to reach an estimated peak of 5,600 workers approximately 5 to 6 years into the build. The estimated number of different job roles over the life of the project is expected to be in the order of 25,000 with an intent to reskill and upskill staff employed at the early stages in order to retain them on the project.
Although the main works resourcing needs are spread over a long timeline the enabling works contracts will commence early in the project and are of a significant scale in their own right so people interested in working on the Hinkley project should register their interest at an early stage.
You can find details on the hiring, vetting and on-boarding process for the Hinkley Point C project in this blog post. Details of the construction trades and qualifications required to work on the nuclear project are outlined here. Information of EDF’s commitment to employ and train local people for jobs on the Hinkley C project is detailed in this blog post.
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