Australian news, and some related international items

Britain’s giant Hinkley Point nuclear station beset with structural problems

Times 15th Oct 2017, Part of the giant Hinkley Point nuclear plant will have to be demolished
and rebuilt after inspectors found problems with its concrete foundations,
in the latest setback for the £20bn project.

EDF, the owner, is understood to have found weaknesses in a small area of the foundations that have been laid on the Somerset coast. The French energy giant insisted the problem is
isolated to 150 cubic metres where pipes and cables are due to be laid, and
said it will not delay construction. Yet the discovery will raise concerns
about the plant, which will house Britain’s first new nuclear reactors in
a generation.

EDF admitted in July that costs at Hinkley, which is being
bankrolled by the French and Chinese governments, would rise by £1.5bn to
£20.3bn and that it may be completed 15 months later than its December
2025 deadline.

Hinkley’s two sister plants, Flamanville in France and
Olkiluoto in Finland, have suffered hefty cost hikes and long delays. The
problems were found in a patch of “substitution” concrete that forms
the foundations of the first of the site’s 5 miles of “galleries” —
a series of deep trenches that will house the plant’s pipes and electric
cables. The inspection found problems including “weak concrete”,
“poor-quality cleanliness” and an area of concrete that was not wide

Fixing the problem will mean demolishing another layer of
“slab” concrete that had been poured on top of the foundations. ….

October 16, 2017 - Posted by | General News

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