Working with ‘Big Carl’

Novum recently tried their hand at a new industry and worked alongside Tissot France on the specialist lifting ring at Hinkley Point C in Somerset, England. The project marks the first nuclear power plant to be built in the UK in 20 years and will provide low carbon electricity for 6 million homes. The power station was one of 8 announced by the government in 2010.

It was the first time Novum Structures had ventured into the nuclear market and we were extremely excited to have been chosen to be a part of the project. The focus of our involvement was the lifting ring beam application and we worked closely with Tissot France to develop an engineered solution based on our Kugel Knoten spherical nodal system. Our KK system is universally recognised by industry and academia as the pioneering spacetruss system. Its typical uses are very stiff double-layer structures with amazing strength to weight ratios.

The lifting ring beam consisted of a double-layered nodal structure to make the lifting rig and infill, with coloured nodes providing a clear visual management solution, indicating the maximum weight and loading attachments points. In terms of size, it measured 48.5 meters in diameter and 2.5m deep. The bolted connections were all varied in size and had 12 connection points for the crane suspension cables. The purpose of the lifting ring beam was to distribute various large, prefabricated reactor building components which were constructed on-site in factory-like conditions to ensure Hinkley could be built as quickly and smoothly as possible. The lifting ring beam was manufactured and tested to stringent requirements, meeting the demands for a high integrity product. Novum enjoyed working with the world’s largest land-based crane, nicknamed Big Carl, which is 250 meters tall and can lift 5,000 tonnes.

For the lifts to take place safely, the wind had to be below 4mph. It just so happened that the best conditions were at night, so this is when the lift occurred.

Novums team of six were onsite for eight weeks assembling the steel structure shipped from our ISO 9001 certified steel factory in Turkey.  Using our steel ensured that any potential onsite issues could be rectified quickly and efficiently.



Image courtesy of EDF