22nd February 2024
EVAPORATOR D – B215 Sellafield, Piping fabrication & module assembly
NRL’s expert team were asked to support this project when the backlog exceeded 2,600 butt radiography inspections on the fabrication and module assembly work. This had resulted in significant and costly delays for the piping installation contractor and impacted the overall project programme.
Rising to the challenge
To mitigate any further project delay, our NDT team upscaled staff on-site from 6 to 26 within a 6 week acceleration period, including recruitment, clearance, induction and method familiarisation to ensure that all operative we able to execute the radiography works safely and effectively. The acceleration period also included increasing darkroom capacity, additional isotopes, plant and equipment, and office space – carefully managing procurement lead times against the project programme.
Collaborating to achieve project goals
Keen to get the project back on track, our project team worked with the client to understand their challenges, project deliverables and root causes of delays to devise a new approach to method, programme and delivery, critically including the use of Ytterbium 169.
This included effective resource management and planning to meet the demands at each stage of the fabrication and assembly, coupled to a comprehensive progress reporting package. This e-data management reporting was also supplied to the client each week to report on radiography productivity by day and by module and reshoot percentage rate against project KPIs.
To maintain a close management of the project, our NDT team held daily meetings to track progress, coordinated 24-hour radiography across 5 locations, and introduced more effective methods of engagement to speed up the daily coordination of requests, film packs, transmittals and project documentation.
By drawing on their expertise, our team were able to complete the project, achieving 100% of the agreed project KPIs:
- 2,600 butt backlog cleared within 5 months of commencement, alongside maintaining pace with a 24-hour daily peak weld production of 60
- Consistent flow of weld quality reporting throughout the project, often within 3 hours of the initial request
- Eradication of any consequential delays caused at the radiography stage
- 21,228 welds radiographed across all locations and contracts
- Fabrication: 11,189
- Installation: 10,039
- 4% reshoot rate, significantly lower than permitted level, resulting in 100% of KPI achieved
- No RIDDOR or near misses, resulting in 100% of KPI achieved
- Consistent and accurate project commercial and operational reporting, resulting in 100% of KPI achieved
“The success of this project has been down to the involvement of all those involved working together, with NRL playing a major role during the last two years.
The relationship between Interserve and NRL has been an exemplary demonstration of how subcontract arrangements should and can work. This has no doubt been down to the involvement and hard work by the NRL team.
I would like to pass on my thanks for the professional and committed manner which you have worked with Interserve construction team to deliver a high-quality service.”
Sub-Contracts Manager, Interserve
Other Sellafield projects our team have supported with NDT services
Considering the many projects our NDT experts have supplied to Sellafield since 1983, this equates to radiography of butt welds on approximately 2.5 million metres of high integrity stainless steel pipe.
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