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When reliability is everything

01 April 2009

Stainless steel translating machine screw jacks are put to work on a critical nuclear waste handling duty at Dounreay

The Drum Posting Equipment (DPE) section at Dounreay in Caithness is the gateway for the nuclear site’s cementation plant import/export facility, an extension commissioned in 2007. It is essentially a waste transfer building, connected to the cementation plant within the fuel cycle area, and serves to increase capacity for storage of waste from the decommissioning programme.

All waste drums being transferred into or out of the store have to pass through the DPE. As radioactive contaminated waste is being handled, the entire operation has to be carried out by remote methods to avoid human intervention and exposure.

The DPE was erected and commissioned within a high-specification, 8.5m high mock-up structure, and underwent consistent repeat operations to verify its minimal maintenance requirement. The unit has now been in regular operation at the Cementation plant for over two years, problem-free and without incident.

Key components of the DPE machine build are two stainless steel screw jacks, which drive the drum transfer table through the unit. DPE build contractor, JGC Engineering awarded the contract for these components to Power Jacks based on its 15-year relationship with the company, the high reliability and low maintenance requirement of its products and competitive pricing. JGC chose stainless steel E-Series translating machine screw jacks type CE1810-1805-1 for this project, two of which are connected in series by a stainless steel drive shaft and geared couplings on the DPE machine. Robbie Campbell of JGC Engineering, summarises:

“I felt that Power Jacks provided us with a high level of service on this project. From initial enquiry through to completion of the project, the company always provided efficient and professional support, offering advice and assistance when required. The screw jacks supplied have met all our expected design requirements and contributed to the successful completion and commissioning of the overall project.”

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