The Berkeley Active Waste Vaults Retrieval Programme is progressing with preparations now underway to install a new remotely operated crane into the existing facility, which will enable the continued retrieval and packaging of waste from the vaults.
Cavendish Nuclear’s installation of a new remotely operated crane into the existing facility features modifications which will enable Magnox to transition from the use of Ductile Cast Iron Containers (DCICs) to concrete box waste packages. Use of the concrete box packages will enable effective, continued removal of the waste from the vaults in support of Magnox’s waste strategy programme.
Delivery of this work follows a temporary shutdown of the project due to the impact of Covid-19. In advance of work restarting in August, changes were made to the working arrangements and to the working areas to ensure it could be safely re-opened. When returning back to the project the team prioritised ensuring that detailed procedures were produced that provided step-by-step instructions for the safe re-energisation of all plant and equipment. Inductions, re-familiarisation and refresher training were also carried out before any work restarted.
Gary Ward, Cavendish Nuclear’s Magnox & Dounreay Business Unit Director, “We’re pleased that work has been able to restart safely on the project and that positive progress is being made, despite the challenges currently being faced.
“Installation of this new crane will provide Magnox with the capability to handle and package waste in concrete boxes, which will ensure the continued removal of waste, in line with Magnox’s waste strategy programme.
“Importantly, this work is being delivered safely and in line with social distancing and other protective measures, to ensure the continued health, safety and wellbeing of all those who work with and for us, as well as the general public.”
The Berkeley Active Waste Vaults (AWV) Retrieval Programme
The Berkeley Active Waste Vaults (AWV) Retrieval Programme comprises the design and installation of mechanical handling and processing equipment required to retrieve historic Intermediate Level Waste (ILW) from three subterranean vaults on the site. The AWV Retrieval programme comprises a series of discrete projects, the last of which is scheduled for completion during mid-2021.
Cavendish Nuclear has been involved in the Berkeley AWV Retrievals programme since 2010. Following completion of the R2 facility in 2015, Magnox has successfully retrieved, processed and packaged almost 200 Te of ILW from the Berkeley vaults. Cavendish Nuclear adopted a modular build strategy for the AWV Retrievals facilities, which maximised off-site assembly and testing and provided effective mitigation of the cost and programme risk associated with conventional construction and commissioning on a Nuclear Licensed Site.