4 May 2022
EDF, the operator of Heysham nuclear power station, wanted to extend the life of the facility by introducing increased control over the temperature of the reactors. Amec Nuclear designed a system of temperature control holes in the reactor rod tubes. To access the tubes in-situ and drill the holes, they need a winch system with fine motion control and constant load measurement.
Rossendale Group worked with EDF and Amec Nuclear to design the winch, using a high-ratio gearbox for fine movements and a large diameter drum to handle the cable bundle being moved into and out of the reactor rod tubes.
The design and manufacturing process included a nuclear industry-standard quality control plan, with management, review and control of processes such as welding, NDE, material traceability, heat treatment, proof load testing and documentation.
Following trials at Amec Nuclear’s test facility, Rossendale Group delivered two complete winch units which went into service at EDF’s nuclear power stations. The resulting improvements in reactor heat management extended the life of the plants for many years.
The specification on this job included robust quality control as well as precision engineering. Being familiar with design and manufacture of lifting systems, which always require the maintenance of quality records for our technical files, we were able to take on the job feeling confident that we could meet the high standards required in the nuclear industry.”John Middleton | Rossendale Group Lead Engineer