Pictures show arrival of Britain's first nuclear reactor for 30 years

  • Watch footage of the reactor arriving

The first new nuclear reactor for a British power station for more than 30 years has arrived in Somerset.

At 13 metres long and weighing 500 tonnes, the “reactor pressure vessel” will create the heat needed to make steam for the world’s largest turbines at Hinkley Point C, near Bridgwater.

It is the first of two nuclear reactors which will be installed at the site. Each reactor will help provide enough electricity for three million homes.

The reactor, made by Framatome in France, comes from the same factory which made the last nuclear reactor for a British power station at Sizewell B in Suffolk.

The reactor first arrived in Britain at Avonmouth Docks in Bristol before being transported by barge to Combwich Wharf on the River Parrett in Somerset. The final journey was a five-hour trip for four miles by a transporter to its permanent home on the construction site. 

The arrival of the reactor marks a significant milestone for Hinkley Point C, where more than 8,000 workers are now on site every day. It will be installed in the reactor building after the dome is lifted into place.