Trafalgar PR principal Chris Nelson is also a freelance journalist. In 2011 he collaborated with Mammoet to record their part in an impressive engineering feat to transport eleven 500-tonne modules for a new Highly Active (HA) Liquid Evaporator onto the Sellafield nuclear site. It was the first time in the history of Sellafield that off-site fabrication had been used for large scale modules.
Highly active evaporators play a pivotal role in the delivery of reprocessing, historic cleanup and hazard reduction missions across the Sellafield site. The eleven modules were transported to site by sea and installed into the building’s concrete shell using a gantry system.
Mammoet UK Ltd was responsible for the transport and shipping element of the module delivery, including the gantry and heavy lift works. Interserve Industrial Services Ltd in Ellesmere Port fabricated the modules.
At the module assembly site a self-propelled modular transporter (SPMT) was driven under the module support system to take the module on board. It then drove out of the facility onto the barge. The barge sailed to the beach adjacent to the Sellafield Site where ramps were created to unload the transporters. A purpose-built bridge was installed to cross the River Ehen, and the modules then crossed the West Cumbrian Rail Line before entering the Sellafield Nuclear Site.
The day-long operation took place in brilliant sunshine and brisk winds, and it was fascinating to see and record the multi-skilled team at work in a real-life ‘Thunderbirds’ operation.