Rope and Sling Specialists Ltd. (RSS) provided below-the-hook equipment for ITP (inspection and test procedure) work during decommissioning of Chapelcross, Scotland’s first commercial nuclear station, built on the 92 hectare site of an old airfield in Dumfriesshire.
The site ceased operation in 2004 after generating more than 60TWh of electricity over 45 years of successful operation. Chapelcross has recently completed defuelling ahead of schedule. The overall aim of Magnox’s defuelling programme is to ensure that all of its sites are fuel-free. This involves safely removing the fuel from all of the reactors, emptying all of the cooling ponds and stores containing fuel, and transferring it to Sellafield for reprocessing.
RSS recently supplied a 25t Loadlink plus tension load cell from Straightpoint, two 10t beam clamps and a calibrated 20t hydraulic ram to CTL Seal, primarily for load testing during the latest round of ITP work at the Chapelcross site. The equipment was delivered to Penny Nuclear, which fulfilled a scope of work for Magnox to decommission a cartridge-cooling pond. Magnox is owned and operated by Cavendish Fluor Partnership on behalf of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority.
Magnox oversees nine programmes, including defuelling, ponds, plant and structures, waste projects, waste operations, reactors, asset management, care and maintenance and site restoration. All have been established to create a one-stop decommissioning service for the sites. Working this way allows it to use innovative techniques and methods as well as providing a sequenced approach to work using the ‘lead and learn’ approach.
Mick Gill, senior testing engineer at RSS, explained that, prior to delivery to CTL Seal, the clamps were tested on the custom lifting beam and used to hang the bale arm unit. Gill combined with Gary Coleman, site engineer at RSS (both are based at the company’s Rotherham depot), to ensure the equipment was ready for the rigours of the demanding project.
In addition to the bale arm unit, RSS equipment was used to lift and load test a bale arm pintle grab, tipper frame support structure, tipper frame, cradle, and rotating pintle lifting attachment (RPLA) auto latches. Lifting operations for the latest phase of the project were completed over a one-day period.
Gill concluded: “It was an honour to service the project from our Rotherham facility. We know Magnox demands exemplary standards from its supply chain to support the safe execution and delivery of its programme of work.”