World's largest crane lifts dome onto Hinkley Point C's first reactor building

The dome was lifted onto the reactor building at around 7:40am on Friday 14 December. Credit: Hinkley Point C

The dome for Somerset's first nuclear reactor building has been successfully lifted into place. 

The major milestone closes the roof on the building at Hinkley Point C, allowing the first nuclear reactor to be installed inside next year. 

Lifting teams placed the 245-tonne steel dome on top of the reactor building at around 7:40am on Friday 15 December.

The lift was carefully planned to take advantage of a weather window to allow the manoeuvre to be completed in low wind speeds. 

The power station’s two nuclear reactors will eventually provide reliable zero-carbon electricity for six million homes, boosting Britain’s energy security for decades to come.  

There are now 10,000 people working on its construction which began in full in 2017.

The station is due to start generating electricity in 2027.

Measuring 47m in diameter, the dome is wider than the dome of St Paul’s Cathedral – and is made up of 38 prefabricated panels which were shipped to Hinkley Point C and welded together in an onsite factory. 

Simon Parsons, Nuclear Island Area Director, said: “Building the first nuclear power station in a generation is a challenging job and the success of this complex operation is due to the determination and commitment of our fantastic teams.  

“Lifting the dome allows us to get on with the fitting of equipment, pipes and cables, including the first reactor which is on-site and ready to be installed next year.”  

Nuclear Minister Andrew Bowie said: “This is a major milestone in building Britain’s first nuclear reactor in a generation and a key part of the UK Government’s plans to revitalise nuclear.  

“Generating enough zero-carbon power for six million homes, Hinkley Point C will reduce our reliance on imported energy and support our shift to net zero.”