Hinkley Point C, in Somerset is the first nuclear power station to be built in the UK in over 20 years, to provide low-carbon electricity for around 6 million homes.
It will be the first in a new generation of nuclear power stations in the UK, creating thousands of jobs and providing lasting benefits to the UK economy.
Hinkley Point C is one of the largest and most complex projects in Europe, with over 4,000 workers constructing the new site.
Millions of cubic metres of earth will be moved and three million tonnes of concrete will be needed during the large-scale project.
Kier BAM Joint Venture, one of the companies carrying out earthworks, site preparation and infrastructure at Hinkley Point C, needed to protect the edge of a 50-metre excavation site during the construction of the nuclear reactor, preventing site vehicles from driving into the hole in error.
They also needed a system in place to provide a clear separation between the vast construction areas and the access routes for pedestrians and vehicles.
As a trusted and experienced provider of protective and delineation barriers, Hardstaff had just the solution.
The unique Fleximax high containment vehicle restraint system was installed to provide protection around the edge of the major excavation site.
Fleximax is an engineered Maxibloc barrier with steel hinges allowing the system to go around tight radiuses and angles, which was a requirement at this site.
A REBLOC RB140SFS_5.5 permanent concrete vehicle restraint system was also put in place to protect the workforce from deviating vehicles within certain areas of the power station.
Both barriers are tested very high containment (H4a) restraint systems, proven to withhold a 30 tonne HGV travelling at speeds of up to 65kph at a 20-degree impact angle.
Multi Applicational Safety System (MASS) barriers with Pedestrian Guard fencing was also installed across the site, creating clearly marked pedestrian walkways and vehicle access routes for staff and visitors.
The highly visible red and white steel barriers clearly separated the construction areas, while also protecting the large workforce, vehicle drivers and pedestrians from errant vehicles.
If an errant vehicle drives onto the base of the system, it helps to stabilise the barrier during impact.
To date, more than 10,000 metres of MASS barriers have been installed at Hinkley Point C.
The barriers, which have been in place at Hinkley Point C since 2018, have helped to create a safe working environment and have established clearly defined work, vehicle and pedestrian zones across the extensive site.
Hardstaff is proud to be helping to improve safety at this important site, which will ultimately make a major contribution to the UK’s move to reduce carbon emissions.
Pablo Alaman, Agent, at Kier BAM Joint Venture said: “Kier BAM was instructed to design, supply and build a high containment vehicle barrier surrounding the Heat Sink, the deepest section of the Deep Dig in Hinkley Point C.
“This section, with a difference in height of up to 30 metres, will hold the cooling water inlet and outlet systems. During the system’s period of service two tunnel boring machines (TBMs) will be launched.
“The crest alignment didn’t allow any of the standard vertical concrete barriers (VCB) systems to be implemented.
“Hardstaff developed the flexijoints to adapt to this intricate alignment maintaining the protection required by the client.
“Hardstaff engineered, fabricated and delivered the Fleximax system allowing intricate alignment, while maintaining containment levels required to ensure edge protection safety.”
The Hard Facts
- Hinkley Point C is the first nuclear power station to be built in the UK in over 20 years to provide low-carbon electricity for around 6 million homes
- It is one of the largest and most complex projects in Europe, with over 4,000 workers constructing the new site
- Hardstaff installed the Fleximax high containment vehicle restraint barrier around the 50-metre excavation site to protect the edge
- Hardstaff installed over 10,000 metres of MASS barriers at Hinkley Point, creating clearly marked pedestrian walkways and vehicle access routes for staff and visitors
- The REBLOC RB140SFS_5.5 permanent concrete vehicle restraint system provided protection for the workforce from deviating vehicles at the site