Windscale Pile 1 Chimney – Power Distribution Enhancement

Categories: 28 Aug 2014

Contract: Sellafield-£225,000

Working as a sub-contractor to Doosan Babcock, our team was privileged to be awarded a design and build contract to replace the degraded distribution system on the Pile 1 structure at the Sellafield Site in West Cumbria.

This project was incredibly important to the client and the wider community as it was the pre-cursor to the commencement of demolition.

The Windscale Pile 1 chimney has stood as a monument to the most significant nuclear incident in Britains history, the Windscale Reactor fire of 1957.

The project required a full electrical design from the source of supply at ground level, to the sockets at the top of the structure (circa 300ft). We also had to create complex safe systems of work to allow installation of the new distribution cubicles at height, using only the Alimak hoists available, and a combination of bespoke lifting arms which allowed us to locate the boards onto the required RMD level. Each of the two new cubicles installed has a design life of 25 years despite the fact they are open to the elements, 300ft in the air, in a coastal environment.

As the surfaces of the structure are heavily contaminated, this presented different challenges in terms of safe removal and disposal of the waste, and the increased training required for our operatives to not only work at height, but also work in a controlled area. Similarly challenging, was the fact that the client had stricter standards than those laid down in BS 7671:2008[2011]; yet despite this we were able to successfully deliver the project, to time, cost and quality, which has enabled demolition to commence without interruption.

Joshua Thomas & Partners are particularly proud to be recognised as a partner in the effort to safely decommission this country’s nuclear legacy sites.