Fabrication orders for nuclear power industry

Paul Boughton

ECS has won five steel fabrication contacts for customers within the nuclear power industry. Following on from a move to new, larger premises and successful certification under BS EN 1090 for CE marking, the company has now completed the lengthy pre-qualification process to allow production to start on 49 duct cradles for a nuclear plant in the UK.

John Cotterill, Operations Director for ECS, explains: "In all, this project will cover a six month period, due to the high standards required by the industry. Before any actual fabrication starts there is considerable work to be done in demonstrating that ECS is able to meet the high quality standards required as well as providing information on the quality management system and the skills of our engineers."

The current project involves the fabrication of 49 duct cradles, which are being used to support sections of duct within the main reactor building. Two different sizes have been specified, one 1800mm and the other, 1400mm wide, with each cradle taking around 80 hours to complete.

The design consists of a channel framed structure with plate-work supports to ensure that the completed frame has sufficient strength to carry the weight of the stainless steel duct. Heavy duty castors are used to move the cradles into position after which they are removed and the cradle is fixed in place.

This project was designated as EXC class 3 under BS EN 1090, which is a classification defined under the CE Marking regulations. When ECS began the certification process it opted for the more arduous EXC3 option which includes buildings and bridges. This means that the quality processes and manufacturing expertise is appropriate for EXC3 projects as well as all those in the lower classifications.

John Cotterill concludes: “Our new fabrication facility allows the design and drawing offices to be located right next to the fabrication facility, which makes every project as efficient and cost effective as possible. The level of expertise and dedication to quality combined with all the recent changes within the fabrication division have helped ECS to expand into supplying the nuclear power industry.”

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