Magnox Leads The Way In Manual Handling In The Nuclear Decommissioning Industry By Specifying Fibrelite

Fibrelite engineered bespoke retrofit GRP trench covers for the Hinkley Point (A) Nuclear Power Station, currently under decommissioning.

Project Overview

Fibrelite were approached by Magnox to provide numerous replacement manhole and trench covers to replace the existing degrading concrete and cast-iron covers. This works had to be co-ordinated and delivered within a tight schedule to provide a safe, efficient and consistent solution within the decommissioning work being undertaken at Hinkley Point A.

Key features of Fibrelite covers for this project:

  • Best strength to weight ratio available in the market today
  • Fully customisable options available as standard
  • Reliable – cover load ratings consistent with the requirements of EN 124
  • Easy interface – no specialist personnel or machinery required for maintenance/operation post install

Problem

The client established that the pre-existing concrete covering arrangement would be very troublesome long term and had experienced a number of failures across a number of locations/sites causing confidence in these access covers to be questioned. Typically, the existing covers are located in pedestrian and vehicular traffic areas. This lack of confidence had led to large areas being barriered off and exclusion zones put in place. The existing cover material poses a number of difficulties:

  • Extreme weight – particularly in the nuclear industry, ease of access for services is imperative. Heavy concrete covers impair this
  • Manual handling – the customer was concerned about the risk of injury due to the manual handling of these heavy loads
  • Deteriorating performance – the covers were exhibiting high levels of corrosion and structural degradation leading to concerns of fit for purposes application

The size and complexity of this project deemed that the design would need to be very flexible.

Previously installed concrete trench access covers had begun to corrode

Exclusion zones were put in place to prevent loading causing a failure of the covers during the decommissioning work

The load capacity of the concrete covers was unknown and thus unreliable

Solution

Fibrelite proved to be an ideal choice for the client’s requirements, meeting their demands in a number of areas:

  • Lightweight covering arrangement suitable for two-person lift
  • Health & safety concerns surrounding manual handling eliminated
  • Chemically inert – safe & functional. Uniform ‘anti-slip’ tread pattern supplied as standard, will last for years to come without degradation

Fibrelite provided all fully customisable options to the customer which were essential and unique to the customer. For this project Fibrelite provided differing depths, load ratings and covers with locking mechanisms in some instances.

Fibrelite’s lightweight covers can be safely manually removed

The nuclear facility now has a safe covering for their utilities during the decommissioning work

The nuclear facility now has a safe covering for their utilities during the decommissioning work

Fibrelite covers are chemically inert and have an anti-slip tread pattern

Results

Post install – the customer was pleased with the finish provided and advised they would continue to specify Fibrelite access covers for future projects. Benefits at a glance:

  • Chemically inert covers will last for years to come
  • Access to trench services simplified using the Fibrelite FL7 ergonomic lifting handles (allowing safe lifting from waist height)
  • All bespoke product features adhered to allowing minimal disruption to site
  • ‘Fit and forget’ solution – modern, safe & secure
  • Trench and manhole covers that have technical data underpinning load capacity and test results
  • Significant site hazard reduction

Fibrelite provided all fully customisable options to the customer which were essential and unique to the customer. For this project Fibrelite provided differing depths, load ratings and covers with locking mechanisms in some instances.

Fibrelite: Over 30 Years of Composite Expertise

Fibrelite, the global leader in the manufacture and development of GRP manhole and trench covers draws their expertise from over 30 years of working with and being specified by the majority of the world’s leading oil companies including locally BP, Esso, Total, and many more. Look down on any petrol station forecourt, and odds are, you’ll see one of their covers. They actually invented the world’s first composite access cover back in 1980 for Esso UK (ExxonMobil) to solve manual handling injuries; and their covers are now specified in myriad industries globally.

Fibrelite is proud to design and manufacture in the UK for the UK, enabling a rapid design to delivery process.

Since 2013, Fibrelite has been a part of OPW (a Dover company) allowing the company to offer an unprecedented portfolio of complementary best-in-class products.

For more details on how and where Fibrelite covers are being adopted, check out their case studies here

ENDS

Notes for Editor:

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About Fibrelite

Fibrelite is a global manufacturer of highly-engineered glass reinforced plastic (GRP) composite access covers capable of taking up to 90 tonne loads whilst still being light enough to be lifted by hand and is renowned for its high quality technical support and service.

Initially developed almost 40 years ago and now industry standard for petrol station forecourts, Fibrelite covers are increasingly specified for both new and retrofit work in a variety of industries in more than 80 countries around the world.  To find out more, please visit www.fibrelite.com

For more information, please contact Aaron McConkey (aaron@fibrelite.com +44 (0) 1756 799773)

Fibrelite; Snaygill Industrial Estate; Keighley Road; Skipton; North Yorkshire BD23 2QR