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Nuclear Power. Biglorryblog on UKAEA's new Andover trailer for Dounray decommissioning....

  • 29 March 2008
  • By Biglorryblog

flaskuntitled.JPG Here's a bit of advice from Biglorryblog. If you ever see one of these in front of you my advice is don't run into it...What you see here is a rather unusual £80,000 five-axle concentrated load step frame trailer from Andover Trailers which has just entered service with the UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA). For good measure it's capable of taking load weights of up to 65 tonnes and its tight turning circles are proving a big hit with drivers. But why the warning from BLB? Well on the back of the trailer is a big white steel box called a 'flask' which is used use to hold or transport nuclear materials. The new 45-tonne shielded container from British Nuclear Fuels plc, will be used on UKAEA’s site in Dounreay, Caithness, to assist in the site decommissioning project. Make no mistake, a nuclear flask is a pretty hefty bit of kit---they're designed to be capable of falling off, or being hit by a train and not break open. And I believe that the Atomic Energy Authority even did just that--it deliberately derailed a train with a flask on a waggon--to ally the fears from anti-nuclear protest groups when the flasks were being transported by rail. It reminds me of the time I went down to the old CEGB in Bristol to see their Scammell heavy haulers which were used to pull these flasks....maybe I can find some pictures. Now click through here to find out more about the trailer....and what UKAEA drivers like about it

Paul MacAskill, Project Engineer at the UKAEA tells me: “The new flask would not fit on a standard trailer as we needed something to enable us to move it around the site, and off-site as required. We also required the new trailer to be able to accommodate the lifting beam and associated equipment required to lift the flask on and off the trailer. The existing trailers we have on site are not for highway use so we looked to Andover Trailers for a flexible solution,” says, adding “Our drivers are very impressed with the trailer and say it’s the best bit of kit they’ve ever had for carrying out flask movements, and are particularly pleased with the ease of handling, especially when carrying out difficult manoeuvres where space is restricted. This is made easier, as when on site we use a Terberg Shunting tractor which has a reversible driving position allowing the driver to face the trailer during reversing operations. We are very pleased and would consider acquiring another similar trailer to meet future requirements.” The trailer was designed to UKAEA specifications with a Tridec steering system, remote and auto realign system, hydraulic suspension, and a sump sunk in the bed to take the flask. It also features a 24 volt fan cooled power pack, two pairs of lashing points in the floor, further lashing points and a frame for the lifting beam on the upper deck and steps at the rear with a conveniently placed grab handle. UKAEA has an international reputation for excellence in nuclear clean-up, with a long record of safe, efficient delivery. It has completed more nuclear decommissioning than any other company in Europe, involving some of the industry’s earliest and most complex facilities. UKAEA’s pioneering track record includes major progress in restoring sites, with innovative strategies that have cut clean-up targets by £1.5 billion and by up to 35 years. So now you know.