The 20 tonne pipebridge dated back to 1950 and provided ventilation to the Solvent Purification Plant right up to the present day. Decommissioning work in the early 1990s successfully removed most of the inventory from the plant however ventilation is still required for the remaining facilities housed in the Solvent Treatment Plant.
A local ventilation system was installed earlier this year so making the pipebridge redundant. The L-shaped pipebridge was removed in two sections. The initial 20 metre vertical section lift used 250te and 40te cranes to ‘top and tail’ the section safely to the ground before the remaining 20 metre horizontal section was removed.
Decommissioning Portfolio Manager Mark Nealy said: “The team has done well to overcome a number of potential showstoppers to carry out the delicate lifting operation. A watertight crane lifting plan was formulated to take account of the close proximity of the surrounding nuclear facilities and the crane’s working jib height of over 60 metres.
“Completion of this project is a key enabler to demolish the adjacent 60 metre stack on the Primary Separation Plant, which is a priority decommissioning project at Sellafield .”