Hinkley Point Nuclear Power Station Opens up Doors for Process Industry

French firm EDF Energy yesterday announced their plans to build the first nuclear plant in a generation. Prime Minister David Cameron hailed the announcement as a landmark deal and that Britain is "open for business".

Hinkley C Nuclear Power Station

It has been announced that the nuclear plant will be the result of a £16bn investment which will create 25,000 new jobs. Following on from months of negotiations, ministers finally managed to agree a "cut-price" deal with French power giant, EDF Energy. Construction is due to commence provided the plan wins EU approval.

The majority of the £16bn investment will be split between EDF Energy and the China National Nuclear Corporation. Both companies have agreed to pay the British taxpayers if any money is saved off the projected £16bn.

The new power station which is known as Hinkley C, will be home to two nuclear reactors. It is the first nuclear plant to be built in the UK since Sizewell B in Suffolk was completed in 1995. The energy firm is also in talks about building another nuclear reactor at Sizewell.

What Challenges do the Process Engineers Face when Building Hinkley C?

  • Choosing instrumentation for measuring pressure, flow and temperature.
  • Operating equipment that can handle extreme temperatures.
  • Ensuring double isolation is present in Process valves.

Hobbs Valve Double Block and Bleed Valves in Nuclear Power Station

Building a Nuclear power station is arguably one of the most complex tasks that any engineer or builder could face, the importance of safety is drilled into the project throughout to try and rule out the chances of any sort of nuclear disaster.

Double isolation is now an essential part of any process pipeline within a Nuclear power plant. This dramatically improves workers safety as it offers back up if the valve were to fail, preventing any toxic or harmful backwash from getting to the worker.

Hobbs valve triple offset double block and bleed valve

Hobbs Valve have been the manufacturer of choice at Sellafield nuclear power station with their Double Block and Bleed valves with Triple Offset technology. The beauty of this product is that the new design offers considerable cost savings when compared to more traditional double isolation solutions such as ball, gate and globe valves. In addition to this, the triple offset design and metal to metal seating ensures bubble tight closure of the valve which therefore results in zero-leakage performance.

We believe here at PIF that the tried and tested DBB valves with triple offset technology should be the valve of choice for Process Engineers when they are building their process pipelines.

What products would you like to see implemented into the build of the new Hinkley C nuclear power station? Please leave your comments and thoughts below.

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