BBC TV documentary goes behind the scenes at Hinkley C build
Written by Bridgwater Mercury on June 8, 2021
RIGHT on Bridgwater’s doorstep, the serious feat of engineering happening at the coast won’t have escaped many people’s attention.
It’s common knowledge that, once complete, Hinkley Point C will be Britain’s largest nuclear power station, but what’s been going on at the 430-acre site during the construction process has remained something of a mystery.
That is, until now.
A new television programme, Building Britain’s Biggest Nuclear Power Station, investigates what it takes to tackle a project of this size.
The first episode of the BBC Two documentary showed some of the various challenges facing workers at the site and described the many safety measures required when building a power station working with radioactive substances.
In typical Somerset style, one hiccup came when the transportation of a huge piece of tunnelling equipment was brought to a halt by an oncoming tractor.
Providing balance, the show also touches on the resistance the project has faced including protests and campaigns from environmental groups who oppose the power station’s construction.
Speaking to residents, the programme highlights how the build has affected people living and working nearby.
Talking about his experience, Bedrock Furniture proprietor, Malcolm Calladine, said: “We are a furniture store and we have been serving Bridgwater for 20 years.
“Hinkley Point C has had a direct effect on our business. A huge increase in traffic, a huge increase in movement of people coming here to the town, and you can possibly hear the noise behind you.
“Getting around the town is more difficult because of the HGVs and the ubiquitous white buses that are everywhere! There is a multitude of white buses driving through the town all day long.”
He added: “Yes, I am looking forward to the end of construction, but I think it’s going to be a busy site even afterwards because it’s a major installation with two operational power stations.
“It’s still going to be a lot of work and a lot of traffic.”
There are some businesses benefitting from the increased footfall though, such as Pynes of Somerset who are supplying meat to the project.
Owner Malcolm Pyne said: “The Pyne family has been serving meat in Somerset for 40 years and it was literally a village shop, in North Petherton, a two-up-two-down.
“With Hinkley Point C and the size of the contract, my wife and I expanded the small two-up-two-down to build our empire.
“Hinkley Point C has not only just benefitted us as a business, you can see the businesses come through our shop door.
“It’s a fantastic food chain, the nuclear build is wonderful for our family and local businesses in this area.”
Coming up next in the four-part documentary, learn about “Big Carl”, the world’s largest land-based crane, flood defences and dealing with unexploded bombs.
- The second episode of Building Britain’s Biggest Nuclear Power Station airs tomorrow (June 9) at 9pm on BBC Two.
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