JFN Supply Remote Handling Solution to provide Key Support for Magnox Reprocessing Operations

A Replacement Fuel Rod Recovery Manipulator, RodMan II, has recently been successfully commissioned in the Magnox Reprocessing Plant at Sellafield Ltd. RodMan II was designed, manufactured and tested at JFN’s facilities at Malton and Egremont.

The RodMan system plays a key role in Magnox reprocessing operations and the original RodMan system, also supplied by JFN, has been operational for nearly thirty years. The delivery of the new RodMan II system, with increased functionality and reliability, will ensure a reduced risk of plant shutdowns and thus provide confidence that the Magnox Operating Programme will be delivered on time.

The functionality of the RodMan II manipulator was kept similar to that of RodMan, for continuity in user interface and operational procedures. System functionality was expanded through the supply of four new remotely operated tools. Two of these tools were standalone tools designed to be used by RodMan II (GrabMan and Basket Clamp Release Tool), whilst two were designed to interface with RodMan II (Remote Console and Acid Feed Hose Coupling Tool). The new tools have vastly increased RodMan II’s functionality, usability and reliability, without compromising the proven original design of the manipulator.

The complexity of the project combined with the demanding timescale meant that the project provided a substantial engineering challenge. Effective communication, collaborative working and the adoption of the ‘fit for purpose’ engineering approach, between the Sellafield and JFN project teams, helped to make the project a success, with RodMan II delivered to site well before the scheduled delivery date. As part of the successful delivery of the project, JFN provided an extensive operator training programme, using a full-scale test rig of RodMan II’s working environment, erected in its Egremont rig hall facility.

The fact that the RodMan II project was delivered early is testament to JFN’s ability to apply its extensive in-house design, manufacturing, assembly, testing and commissioning capabilities to deliver a highly complex project within a tight timescale and budget. A video providing an overview of the project as is available here