An important series of concrete shaving trials for the Bays Interim State Pilot (BISP) for Sellafield Ltd have been successfully kept on track despite lockdown restrictions. JFN and their partners in the consortium CNSL have successfully introduced a comprehensive range of measures to ensure that these trials can go ahead as intended in JFN’s Rig Hall facility in Egremont.

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To ensure compliance with current Covid-19 restrictions, the project team has successfully completed a series of preparatory meetings to assess all aspects of conducting the trials, whilst adhering to the new guidelines. The new processes determine how many personnel needed to be included in the process, ensuring safe distancing could be maintained and making additional hand sanitising stations available. In addition, the Wifi provisions in their Rig Halls has been substantially upgraded.  This will allow additional personnel including project team members from Sellafield Ltd. to attend the trials virtually by seeing the trials live streamed to their offices at Hinton House or to home. 

Mark Donnelly, JFN senior Project Manager for JFN said: “This is a positive step for our client who was concerned that they would not be able to carry out this work this year due to the Covid restrictions. Our robust safety preparation will ensure the trials will be as Covid-19 secure as possible. This has been a successful test of procedures for further trials happening over the coming weeks”

The purpose of these trials will be to test the effectiveness of a number of shaving systems being considered for the BISP project, in which the bay walls will be shaved to reduce contamination. Two concrete walls have been manufactured which represent the internal and external features of the bay wall; they also have encast metalwork to assess and confirm the concrete shaver can continue to operate effectively. The shavers will be mounted to the walls of the bays using suction pads and will be operated remotely. Dust extraction and collection will also be assessed over the period of the trials. 

If successful reducing the contamination present in the bays by this method will represent an important step towards decommissioning, the Pile Fuel Storage Ponds, a key nuclear legacy facility. The learning gained from these