NES reach early project milestone

Nuclear Engineering Services (NES) has achieved a significant milestone on the Silo Emptying Plant (SEP) Mobile Caves contract for Sellafield Ltd on behalf of the NDA. 

The second phase of delivery on the SEP 2 mobile cave contract has been completed five months ahead of the P50 probabilistic delivery date, a remarkable achievement for both NES and Sellafield Ltd. Scheduled for completion at the end of May, the project was handed over from the NES design and manufacturing team to commissioning personnel on the 30th March. 

Phase two of the contract started in 2011 and was for the completion of the design and build on the SEP 2 mobile cave, destined for use at the Sellafield site. SEP 2 is the first of three mobile caves that will be used for the retrieval of Intermediate Level Wastes (ILW) from 22 vertical silos containing Magnox swarf and miscellaneous beta gamma wastes (MBGW). Weighing approximately 400 tonne each, and assembled from over 13,500 parts, each SEP mobile cave will remove wastes via a hydraulic grab and tooling system, through an import/export tunnel sited on top of the waste silos. Operating on a rail system, the SEP mobile caves will locate over the top of each silo and deploy the grabs and specialist tooling through a charge hole of around 1.8m2. Extracted wastes and miscellaneous items are then size reduced, if required, and placed into a waste skip for export and encapsulation at the Silo Direct Encapsulation Plant (SDP).   

Senior Project Manager for SEP 2, Matt Wedge commented “Delivering the design and manufacture phase five months ahead of schedule is an outstanding achievement for NES, and highlights the efforts and commitment of our team to deliver ahead of such a tough target. Our thanks must not only go out to out to NES personnel who delivered above and beyond expectations, but also the supply chain that supported us through the delivery of this phase. Extremely difficult delivery schedules were placed upon them in order to maintain the accelerated project programme, with all suppliers meeting these requirements with no compromise on the quality of the products supplied”.

 Matt went on to add “The relationship between Sellafield and NES has been crucial in ensuring we were able to meet the target dates. The combined effort by both parties has developed an extremely strong working partnership that will benefit delivery throughout the rest of the SEP contract”. 

Dave Roden, Head of Projects said: “Sellafield Ltd has a challenging programme of decommissioning work that we need to safely complete to time and cost, to ensure value for money for the UK taxpayers.  We’re reliant on our suppliers to support us in this difficult job.  We need suppliers like NES working with us to not only meet, but beat our decommissioning commitments.  The completion of the Silo Emptying Plant is a crucial piece of work towards decommissioning one or our priority projects at Sellafield.”   

Remarking on the achievement, NES Group Managing Director, Mike Hawe said “Delivering such a significant milestone five months ahead of schedule demonstrates the continuous performance improvements we are making in design, manufacturing and project management”.

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