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Hunterston Nuclear Power Station – Wet ILW sludge retrieval systems

SCX designed and installed a complete handling solution for the removal of sludge from a series of 4m deep sludge bays at Hunterston Nuclear Power Station in Scotland.

The Challenge

During the operating life and initial decommissioning of Hunterston A, wet (mobile) intermediate-level waste (ILW) accumulated and must now be retrieved, processed and immobilised, in order to complete the decommissioning. The sludge needs to be pumped through to a process canyon where it is contained within ILW handling 3m3 Nirex drums, which must then be removed from site.

SCX provided a series of bespoke equipment to create a complete handling solution for the entire process.

The Solution

SCX’s bespoke sludge retrieval rig lowers the sludge removal pump via a chain fed from a 1.25-tonne chain hoist. Capable of then slewing through 180° to access the full interior of the bays, the system is mounted on a carriage which traverses the width of the bay on rails.

Once the sludge is removed, a bespoke lifting frame with a 3.2-tonne hoist then lifts the entire arm and carriage system out of the bay where it is washed down by a spray ring and then traverses across to the next bay to continue the process. A tailor-made storage frame houses the rig when not in use.

Technical Details

Explore more specialist handling solutions from SCX