Hydraulic tooling development & trials

Limited access steelwork cutter and chipping hammer tooling for underwater deployment and remote operation.

The Pile Fuel Storage Pond (PFSP) was built in 1949/50 for the purpose of receipt and storage of fuel and isotopes from the Windscale Piles as well as the decanning of the fuel elements prior to reprocessing. Following the closure of the Windscale Piles and commissioning of the Magnox Fuel Storage Pond, plant operations were scaled down, although the facility was still used as a storage facility for some materials. PFSP is now undergoing decommissioning.

One of the PFSP decommissioning challenges is the dismantling and removal of an underwater steel framework. Much of the frame could be cut using existing equipment, but a particular channel of the frame had limited access and required a new, more compact cutting tool. This cutting tool would be deployed and operated remotely underwater. JFN was tasked to design and manufacture a deployment mechanism, and undertake trials of the equipment on a mock-up of the relevant pond area and steelwork.

Only two sections of the channel required cutting, therefore a quick, cheap  solution was requested, if possible utilising an ‘off the shelf’ hydraulic cutting tool.


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