Balfour Beatty has started drilling tunnels for the Hinkley Point C cooling system.
The company is to install 38,000 concrete segments to support three marine tunnels under the seabed of the Bristol Channel, as part of the system which will have the capacity to transfer 120,000 litres of water per second.
Three tunnel boring machines will be used for the work.
The first, named Mary by local primary school children in honour of 19th century paleontologist Mary Anning, will be able to reach a maximum speed of 120 mm per minute.
The 1,200-tonne machine will be run by 12 operators including a pilot, with supporting teams at the surface.
Balfour Beatty project director Alistair Geddes said: “Having installed the first permanent segment ahead of schedule, this milestone is testament to Balfour Beatty’s expertise and to the collaborative approach required to deliver a project of this scale and complexity.”
Balfour is contracted to deliver electrical works as part of a JV, tunnelling and marine works, as well as a 400kV overhead line project on behalf of National Grid.
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