Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd - Drum Handling Crane

Aerospace, Nuclear & Defence

The challenge

Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd (DSRL) oversees the decommissioning of Dounreay nuclear power station in northern Scotland. One major project is a facility to store intermediate level waste, packaged into cement and steel drums, which are then placed in long-term storage.

The client needed a semi-automatic crane to handle the 500-litre drums, moving them to their correct locations and carefully adding them to the store. The crane is sacrificial, to be left in the drum store once its job is complete.

The solution

SCX Special Projects designed, built, tested and installed a double-girder, overhead travelling crane with a bespoke rotating and latching grapple.

The solution comprised a MOTS (modified off the shelf) crane with a true vertical lift hoist design; the MotoSuiveur hoist safety and load recovery system, plus bespoke safety and redundancy features, including CCTV and remote recovery in case of primary mechanical or electrical failure.

Accurate positioning and drum management

  • An SCX hoist, with a four wire rope fall, gives a true vertical lift for pinpoint positioning
  • Semi-automated remote control, allowing for precise movements and maximising safety
  • A drum management system that knows where any asset is at any time, with data fed to a SCADA desk in the control room


Fit-for-purpose lifting with added safety

  • 40.2m long-travel with 12.2m cross-travel to allow the crane access to all areas of the drum store
  • De-rated hoist for additional safety, with a lift height of 10.4m
  • Hoist lift speed of 6.0/0.6 m/min, cross and long travel of 15/1.5 m/min
  • MotoSuiveur hoist safety system, with supplemental independent winches for mechanical recovery


A cost-effective solution

  • A blend of proven MOTS (modified off the shelf) lifting equipment with bespoke mechanical, electrical and safety design
  • Design working life of 100 years, supported by calculations, documentation and comprehensive acceptance testing
  • Engineering, build, test and installation all under one roof, reducing overall costs and speeding up delivery


Let's talk more about nuclear cranes.

The nuclear sector demands levels of safety and integrity that requires special high-integrity solutions. As safety cases are revised and become increasingly demanding, existing handling solutions will require adaptations to remain fit-for-purpose.

We have decades of experience in overhauling nuclear cranes, which come in at a fraction of the cost of a new system. Talk to us today.

Call us on +44 114 262 6199, email us at, or complete the contact form below and we'll be in touch.

Note: We will never share your data with anyone and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Sorry, could you please check the form for any blank fields?

Thank you for getting in touch

Our team will contact you very soon to discuss your enquiry in more detail.
Industry Awards


Industry Certifications



An SCX company

SCX Special Projects Ltd

Roman Ridge Road, Sheffield, S9 1GA, United Kingdom

t:  +44 (0)114 262 6199