Berkeley Nuclear Power Station - ILW handling solution

As part of the decommissioning of Berkeley Nuclear Power Station, SCX Special Projects supplied a bespoke handling system capable of transporting intermediate level waste (ILW) storage skips into the confined space of a specially designated storage facility.

The stackable skips were filled with contaminated goods by the power station’s existing handling equipment, but then had to be moved into the storage area, where there was limited headroom above the top of the four storage channels, each of which then reached depths of 10m.



SCX Special Projects designed a handling system capable of securely collecting the skips, moving them into the containment area and precisely stacking them within these deep holes in the facility.

6 tonne hoist with long lifting height

The ultra-low profile 6 tonne hoist unit enables the system to operate in the available space, but has a long lifting height so the loads can be stacked into the deep channels. Safety is ensured through automatic overload protection, anti-drop stops, side guidance rollers and dual hoist braking systems, ensuring that no single point failure can jeopardise the operational integrity of the system.

Bespoke lifting grapple with four wire cables for level lifting

Four wire cables fed from the drum, via diverters, to a bespoke lifting grapple ensure a stable level lift irrespective of non-uniform loading within the container. A centrally located rotating cam extends a pair of pivot arms to raise the sides of the grapple frame outwards and pulls them back in to hook underneath ridges on the sides of the skips.

Operational and ultimate safety interlocks within independent circuits ensure the waste container is completely secure before lifting, as well as protect the whole system from dangerous operation should a fault develop in the primary circuit.

Remote control station with CCTV

Inverter drives and absolute encoders ensure long-travel positional accuracy of ±3mm and the 10m true vertical lift capability of the hoist allows for ease of operation when stacking the skips, all controlled from the safety of a remote control station equipped with CCTV.

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SCX Special Projects Ltd

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

t:  +44 (0)114 262 6199