In Cave Equipment

Project details

Category: Remote Handling

Status: Complete

Client: Magnox

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Aims and Objectives

Aquila was awarded the contract to design, manufacture, assemble and test at works, and subsequently install on site, a range of remotely operated in cell equipment to assist with decommissioning at the Post Irradiated Examination (PIE) facility at Magnox Berkeley Site. 

About the client

Magnox Ltd is the management and operations contractor responsible for safely managing 12 nuclear sites and one hydroelectric plant in the UK, working for the sites’ owner, the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA).

Magnox is responsible for managing the sites through their lifecycles, overseeing all aspects of defuelling and decommissioning.


In Cave equipment

Project Overview

The scope of the Shielded Area Caves Project was to install and commission the equipment necessary to retrieve and package the waste, for interim storage elsewhere on site. The whole retrieval and packaging process was to be completed in the shielded caves, using remote handling operations. The waste would be retrieved into trays for sorting, radiological assay and weighing, prior to being loaded into the final waste package. 

In order to maintain regulatory compliance of the final waste packages, an accurate mass of the waste had to be ascertained during the retrieval process.

In addition to the originally installed equipment, the scope included the integration of a series of new design, build and install packages, which included:

  • Waste Drum Tipper and Sorting Tray
  • Waste Transfer Tray and Tipping Mechanism
  • Waste Assay Table and Weigh Scales
  • Final Package Filling Tundish, Support Frame and Seal


The specification presented by Magnox was well defined and, after two site surveys, Aquila was able to fully define the solutions for each piece of equipment. 3D models were included within the proposal to Magnox, together with a full technical description which clearly described the scope and principal of operation. Aquila worked hand in hand with Magnox in a collaborative manner, resulting in a pragmatic, cost effective solution.