Contractors World

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Contractors World 2010 Volume 1 Issue 4
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Innovative Solutions to Overcome Challenges at Nuclear Facility

Working in remote locations are always challenging situations for both clients, consultants and contractors as they have to cope with the additional problems of logistics.

United Kingdom
Innovative Solutions to Overcome Challenges at Nuclear Facility

Contractors are used to meeting the everyday challenges that is part of every major construction undertaking. However, few contractors have had to face the multitude of difficulties that faced main contractors, Costain, working on a project for Sellafield Ltd., in the UK at Sellafield, one of the most complex and compact nuclear licensed sites in the world.

The contractor had to come up with some innovative solutions to overcome the logistical problems as well as those associated with the actual civil engineering works.

Artist impression of the completed facilityThe project is virtually a stand-alone structure connected to an adjacent active ‘high-risk’ processing building. The rectangular building measures 50 m x 30 m x 38 m high on a very small foot print allowing just 3 to 5 m for access, storage, etc.

To ensure that radiological containment is not compromised, stringent lifting requirements have been imposed during construction activities. Use of conventional tower cranes on the project was rejected due to the potential damage they could cause in the event of a crane collapse.

Costain identified Spierings Self-Erecting Tower Cranes as the most appropriate alternative as the crane ballast remains close to ground level, thus reducing the impact in the unlikely event of a crane collapse.

Lifting restrictions are also enforced on the project. The majority of lifts are limited to 2 tonnes however in some instances managed lifts of up to 4.8 tonnes are permitted.



[top] Aerial view of the Evaporator D site, showing existing facility on the left.
[bottom] Artist impression of the completed facility


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