The WVP plant is where high level waste is treated and converted into a stable form to transport and long term storage.
Re-occurring blockages have been increasing in frequency because of the concentration of technetium in the High Active Liquor feed to WVP. Blockages of this kind take many hours to clear by running steam through the line.
As a solution, the Waste and Effluent Disposition Technical and Engineering Operating Unit with support from Design, Operations, AREVA and National Nuclear Laboratories (NNL) colleagues have re-designed the mechanisms to include a wash point which can be used to unblock the line.
A plant shut down in February 2012 presented engineers with the opportunity to install an additional wash point which has been in use since May 2012. The new design has also been incorporated in a second line in the WVP plant.
The re-design has reduced intervention durations from 15 hours to two hours recovery. To date the forecast suggests that the new design has provided a total reduction of 370 hours lost time representing a return on investment of around £888K.
Mark Steele, Head of Programme, Sellafield Ltd, commented: “One of the things the site as a whole is getting so much better at is continuously looking for ways to enhance performance of ageing infrastructure. This is yet another example of our extremely skilled and talented workforce providing innovative solutions to enhance performance in support of the risk and hazard reduction programme of work.”