World’s biggest crane completes record lift at Hinkley

The world’s largest crane, nicknamed Big Carl, has completed its biggest ever lift at Hinkley Point C.

Early on Thursday morning, when the wind was down, the crane carried out a 575 tonne lift as it installed the first of three massive steel rings at the nuclear power plant. The 17-metre tall and 47-metre wide ring was prefabricated at the Somerset site, and on its own weighs 382 tonnes. Gear used to secure the element took the total lift to 575 tonnes. The ring was placed onto 96 hydraulic jacks that lowered it into position.

Big Carl was made by Saerens in Belgium, stands 250 metres tall and moves on rails. EDF said it will eventually lift pieces weighing more than 1,000 tonnes. The ring is one of five pieces that make up the steel containment for each reactor.