Evaporator D handover preparations begin

Preparations at Sellafield for the handover of Evaporator D, the largest nuclear project in UK, have begun.

Much has been reported about Sellafield Ltd’s Evaporator D project and the major milestones in the module build operations; but what happens when the evaporator transfers over to the High Active Liquor Evaporation and Storage (HALES) operating unit and what is being done to ensure that transition is a smooth one?

Jenifer Carruthers is the Head of Sellafield Ltd’s Evaporator D Transition and Operations and her remit is to ensure just that.

Jenifer explained: “I have many challenges ahead of me in this role and on this specific project, not least getting the right people in the right place at the right time to be able to provide them the right level of training.

Resourcing generally on the Sellafield site is a challenge, let alone recruiting for a whole new facility. In addition, I’m anticipating some of my resource will have to come from external recruitment so as well as ensuring people are trained specifically in Evaporator D operations.

I have to ensure that their `nuclear’ understanding is up to the high standards required to get the permissions we need to be able to take the facility active.”

Tom Foster, NMP Executive Director for Sellafield Ltd, Waste and Effluent Disposition made the decision following valuable learning from previous projects to allocate someone to oversee the transition of Evaporator D at a very early stage in the evaporator project.

Tom commented: “Being close to the project from a very early stage is crucial to a smooth transition, it encourages a forward thinking mentality and ensures any potential problems and delays can be managed at an earlier stage.”

The role will ensure that the appropriate operations, maintenance and support personnel required to operate Evaporator D are in place and are able to demonstrate they are suitably qualified and experienced in operating the plant and equipment to ensure a safe transition to active commissioning/operations in addition to ensuring that the relevant nuclear safety case is implemented.

Current expectations are that active tie-ins and commissioning will take place by April 2016.

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