Caithness Map :: Links to Site Map Great value Unlimited Broadband from an award winning provider  

 

Orbital Welder For Dounreay Tested In New Facility At Bower

23rd April 2009

Photograph of Orbital Welder For Dounreay Tested In New Facility At Bower

Dropping a large three metre stainless steel container from a great height might seem like a bizarre concept, but it's all in a days work for the PFR project team.

Storage of the spent fuel from the former fast reactor needs to be safeguarded from all potentially hazardous conditions. In order to prove the robustness of the 100kg container a replica model was subjected to a computerised simulated drop followed by an actual six and a half metre drop in the new NES Engineering Ltd off-site test facility at Bower in Caithness.

This phase of the project also included the design and manufacture of a unique remote orbital welding system adapted to remotely seal the container lids from within the PFR caves and to leak test the weld to ensure the container is fully sealed.

The 400k contract was awarded to Nuvia who subcontracted the manufacture and testing of the containers to local firm NES Engineering Ltd, who also manufactured the orbital welding equipment.

"Managing the fuel legacy safely and securely on behalf of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority is a crucial part of the site closure programme," explained Simon Coles, PFR decommissioning manager.

"These containers and associated equipment are vital to the fuel strategy for the Dounreay site and for the decommissioning of PFR. The project was delivered to time and cost, which is a credit to the team and all contractors involved."

On completion of the tests the equipment will be shipped to Dounreay for mounting in the reactor hall cave mock up. Remote assembly trials will be carried out on the welding station to ensure it can be assembled within the confined cave environment and to train operators to use the equipment in safe and clean surroundings.

The irradiated fuel will be packaged into the new containers for long-term storage and held in an on-site facility pending a decision for re-use or management elsewhere.

Dounreay will require anywhere from two hundred to one thousand of these fuel storage containers during the decommissioning of the site.

Diagram shows a 3D image of the Remote Orbital Welding System (ROWS) as it will appear in the IFC, showing an irradiated fuel container in place ready for welding

 

Related Businesses

 

Related Articles

Nuclear Decommissioning Agency To Take Over Dounreay Site With No Job LossesThumbnail for article : Nuclear Decommissioning Agency To Take Over Dounreay Site With No Job Losses
DSRL and LLWR to become NDA subsidiaries.   The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) has announced that Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd (DSRL) and LLW Repository Ltd (LLWR) will become wholly owned subsidiaries of the NDA next year.  
Two Dounreay officers recognised and rewarded by Chief ConstableThumbnail for article : Two Dounreay officers recognised and rewarded by Chief Constable
Two officers based at Dounreay received prestigious awards from Chief Constable Simon Chesterman this week in recognition of their long service and good conduct.   Supt Andy Peden, who is Operational Unit Commander (OUC) at Dounreay, received a Certificate of Service, having joined us in 1980.  
Dounreay Cash Reaches Groups In Need During Coronavirus LockdownThumbnail for article : Dounreay Cash Reaches Groups In Need During Coronavirus Lockdown
More than 30 community groups received help from a fund supported by Dounreay and the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority during the COVID-19 crisis.   In March 2020, Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd anticipated an upsurge in demand from community organisations for small-scale financial assistance.  
Dounreay helps motorbike charity support NHS in CaithnessThumbnail for article : Dounreay helps motorbike charity support NHS in Caithness
A charity which delivers vital medical supplies for the NHS is set to receive £10,000 from Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd (DSRL).   The cash will enable Highland and Islands Blood Bikes to establish a permanent presence in Caithness.  
Dounreay Accommodation Units Support Coronavirus ResponseThumbnail for article : Dounreay Accommodation Units Support Coronavirus Response
Around 80 portable accommodation units deemed surplus to requirements are being removed from the site and transported to England to be used as isolation cubicles in the prison service.   Known as Bunkabins, the demountable cabins have been located at the site for the last five years.  
How Dounreay is responding to coronavirusThumbnail for article : How Dounreay is responding to coronavirus
Dounreay is working with the community to provide assistance during the coronavirus outbreak.   Protecting our site We have reduced operations at the site to a level where we require a minimum number of people to leave their homes each day to keep Dounreay in a safe and secure state.  
NDA group enjoys a big WiN at awards ceremonyThumbnail for article : NDA group enjoys a big WiN at awards ceremony
Employees from across the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority group have been honoured at a prestigious national awards ceremony in London.   The Women in Nuclear (WiN) Annual Awards recognises those who have gone above and beyond to promote gender balance and diversity across the nuclear sector.  
Radio Active Particles At Dounreay Foreshore Latest ListThumbnail for article : Radio Active Particles At Dounreay Foreshore Latest List
The latest particle find on the Dounreay foreshore was on 17th January 2020.   See the updated list.  
Engineering Apprenticeships (mechanical, Electrical & Instrumentation) Closing Date 19 February 2020Thumbnail for article : Engineering Apprenticeships (mechanical, Electrical & Instrumentation) Closing Date 19 February 2020
Starting Salary: £12,595 in Year 1 rising to £18,191 in Year 4.   Dounreay is working at the forefront of nuclear decommissioning, waste management and environmental restoration.  
Dounreay Heritage Annual Report 2018 To 2019
Dounreay heritage strategy - Updated 26 November 2019 The Dounreay Heritage Strategy was published in 2010 and is managed by the DSRL heritage officer with advice from a panel of external experts from Historic Environment Scotland (HES), National Museums Scotland (NMS), Highlife Highland (HLH) and the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA).  The Heritage Advisory Panel held its ninth meeting on 26 March 2019 in Nucleus: The Nuclear and Caithness Archives.