Interserve constructed 11 large, prefabricated modules required for the creation of the Evaporator D facility located at the Sellafield nuclear site in Cumbria, the biggest nuclear project under way in the UK.
The modules, constructed for primary contractor Costain, varied considerably in size. The first two modules transported to Sellafield were each 10m high, 7.5m wide, almost 10m in length and weighed over 100 tonnes. The largest was 27m x12.5 m x 7.5 m, with a surface area of 1267.5m² and weighed over 500 tonnes.
Tufcoat provided the final seal for all of the modules, wrapping each separately in a specialist 300µm shrink wrap protective coating before the heavy-load specialist was brought into the equation. Additionally each module required further reinforcement between the spans in the frameworks to ease wind load during transportation.
The modules comprised of stainless steel and carbon steel structural steel frameworks containing vessels, pipe-work and other process equipment. They were fabricated within Interserve’s highly-controlled, specially-adapted environment at a five-acre indoor facility near Ellesmere Port in the north-west of England.
In addition to constructing the modules it was necessary, in conjunction with the Highways Agency, to provide a safe route for the 1.5 km journey between the fabrication facility and the embarkation dock at Ellesmere Port.
This involved some road alterations, the movement of street furniture and approval to use the bridge crossing over the M53 to accommodate the loads. At the dock the modules were loaded onto a barge before sailing 90 miles north to a beach adjacent to the Sellafield site on the West Cumbrian Coast.
Over a 2 year period Tufcoat installation teams of up to 8 operatives provided the necessary encapsulation of the modules enabling them to arrive at Sellafield in pristine condition.