project

Design and manufacture of a large transport container for nuclear waste

Design / Project management Nuclear United Kingdom

Context and challenges

This client is a leading group in the UK nuclear sector.

During decommissioning operations, it is sometimes more economic and safer to dismantle larger sized objects for decontamination at a specialist facility. In order to transport such items, specialist transportation containers that comply to IAEA safety standards are be used.

This client, which is responsible for the safe and secure operation and clean-up of a nuclear site in the UK, needed such container to transport large size objects. The driver for this investment was to design and manufacture a new asset that provides safer operation and complies with modern standards, in particular IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency).

This client has appointed Assystem, within a Joint-Venture, to design such a transport container for use on the UK road network and able to carry various LLW (low level radioactive waste) payload sizes up to 6m x 2.4m x 2.5m.

Project scope

  • Capture requirements and produce functional specifications for the transportation container’s operation and performance (including many operational and maintenance improvements).
  • Provide the client with an oversized IP-2 rated transport container design and ensure compliance to the latest IAEA and client safety standards.
  • Produce detail drawings, substantiation calculations, manufacturing and testing specifications of the transport container along with stress analysis of the container’s main body, door, door opening mechanisms and securing mechanisms. To demonstrate design compliance with the relevant safety standards, Assystem undertook finite element analysis to assess the container’s performance when subject to the relevant SSR-6 Test Criteria.
  • Manage the supply chain partners, integrating hydraulic systems, high integrity seals, auxiliary power units and control system into the transport container design.
  • Undertake manufacturability assessments and manufacturing estimates.
  • Produce support documentation including, risk assessments, functional safety assessments, human factors assessments, manufacturing specification, testing & commissioning specification, instruction manual and technical construction file.
  • Ensure stakeholder engagement, subject-matter expert involvement and optimisation of the design. Regular reviews were performed to ensure all involved were engaged and risks were managed in a timely manner.

Client benefits

  • Removal many of the operational and maintenance issues associated with the previous design of transport container thanks to this IAEA compliant oversized IP-2 transport container.
  • Optimised design of the container enabling to provide the client the capability to transport radioactive items, up to 6m x 2.4m x 2.5m and mass 28Te.
  • Ensuring manufacturability on time thanks to engaging the container manufacturer early in the detail design phase.
  • More effective delivery of the work thanks to using a one project team collaborative approach, allocated project tasks between Assystem and other subject-matter experts.
  • Client satisfaction regarding the ‘one team’ collaborative approach and adaptability to progress work effectively during lockdown restrictions.

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