First phase of massive two way radio project at Hinkley Point C

Pennine has successfully completed the first phase of a major two-way radio project at EDF Energy’s Hinkley Point C site.

Pennine Radio, the company’s specialist two way radio division, has installed a Hytera multi-channel Tier III trunked radio network and supplied nearly 800 Hytera PD 785G digital mobile radios.

These are serving both EDF Energy staff and its key contractors working across the Somerset site.

As part of a six-figure, seven year managed service contract the newly installed interim mast and radio solution will be upgraded to extend coverage to include ancillary locations.

This will see the network progressively extended to support construction operations. It will ultimately also embrace Freight Management Centres being built at junctions 23 and 24 of the M5 and Combwich Wharf which is being refurbished to enable marine deliveries and reduce abnormal road traffic on the route to HPC.

At the height of the £18 billion project, Pennine is expecting to supply up to 3,500 radios to support operations. At the peak of the ten-year build some 5,600 workers will be on-site at Hinkley Point C which is boosting the local economy by an estimated £200 million a year.

Construction operations will benefit from Pennine’s creation of a new South West regional technical and sales support hub. This has been created following the February acquisition of long-established Bristol-based two-way radio specialist, Co-Channel.

Marcus Ransom, Head of Business Support and Deputy Programme Manager for Site Operations at Hinkley Point C said “It’s not an easy task to come on site and start working to our safety, quality and delivery standards but Pennine has worked closely with us to meet those standards.”

Pennine has assisted with spectrum and radio management in advance of its formal contract obligations. In addition, it provided technical expertise to help enable implementation of O2 and Vodafone mobile connectivity across the site. This was required to ensure network operation was compatible with the neighbouring Hinkley Point B power station.

Hinkley Point C, is the latest in a line of nuclear licensed sites at which Pennine has installed two-way radio solutions.

These include systems for staff and the Civil Nuclear Constabulary at the Sellafield fuel reprocessing and decommissioning facility in Cumbria, as well as sites operated by Magnox, Urenco and Westinghouse.

Once completed Hinkley Point C will be vital to the UK’s future energy supply market. Its two reactors will supply around seven percent of the UK’s electricity needs, providing enough low carbon energy to power around six million homes.