Work carried out by Bouygues and Laing O’Rourke JV

Workers building the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station have completed the 49,000-tonne base for the station’s second reactor on schedule – meeting a target date set more than four years ago despite the workforce nearly halving recently because of coronavirus.

The work was spearheaded by the main contractor joint venture of Bouygues and Laing O’Rourke which has a £2bn deal at the site.

The teams who reached the major milestone had to adapt to new coronavirus working conditions and comes less than a year after the completion of the first reactor’s base last June.

The workforce, which was 5,000 before coronavirus hit the UK, has recently been reduced to just under 2,500.

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Completion of the second reactor base also benefited from experience gained on the first base – which led to increases in productivity through steps such as increased use of prefabrication.

Construction during the current coronavirus crisis was able to continue after the project took a wide range of steps to ensure the safety of workers.

This included reducing numbers on site to enable social distancing and concentrating on the most critical areas of construction.