The height of six double decker buses, the module was an imposing sight as it was loaded onto the barge prior to sailing the 65 miles north to a beach adjacent to the Sellafield site on the West Cumbrian Coast. The module includes the large 58 tonne evaporator vessel, the heart of the plant, and weighs in at an impressive 500 tonnes.
The delivery started with the 27 metre high module being transported a distance of 1.5 kilometres via Self Propelled Modular Transporters (SPMT) from the Interserve Pioneer Point facility in Cheshire across a bridge spanning the M53, to the specialist barge the Terra Marique, moored on the Manchester ship canal.
On arrival at the Sellafield beach the module was off loaded from the barge and driven across a purpose built temporary bridge spanning the River Ehen, which runs parallel to the site.
The final leg of its momentous journey was carried out on the Sellafield site as the module was transferred to the site of the Evaporator D facility and lifted vertically from the horizontal, transportation position.
Over the next few weeks preparations will be carried out for the module to be transferred into the Evaporator D facility through a pre constructed opening in the side of the building, which has a tolerance gap of only 70mm, to be positioned in its final resting place within the heart of the Evaporator D facility.
Duncan Basnett, Construction Engineer said: ”This phase of the project presented us with a unique logistical challenge, and all the parties involved are proud of the fact that we have successfully and safely delivered this module to a site of this size and complexity.”
Evaporator D is essentially a giant kettle which is used to reduce the volume of high level liquid waste before it is turned into a glass form and stored. Evaporator D will provide replacement capacity to the site’s existing evaporators, which continue to play a pivotal role in the delivery of nuclear fuel reprocessing contracts and in maximising the reduction of risk to the public and the environment from site operations.