Beakbane has a long track record of developing bespoke protection equipment for our customers in the nuclear power industry.
One challenge has been to ensure the trouble-free operation of Master Slave Manipulators used in remote handling systems operating in radioactive environments. If these fail, it is extremely difficult to repair or replace them – and they may have to be disposed of as radioactive waste.
We have developed special bellows (also known as gaiters) to protect the complicated mechanisms inside these manipulators. Fitted around the outside of the moving parts, these prevent irradiation and any dust or debris getting in and causing premature wear or failure.
Our moulded polyurethane bellows have been used for many years on manipulators at the Sellafield Thermal Oxide Reprocessing Plant (Thorp). We have also developed a new design, using aluminium glasscloth, which offers enhanced service life and excellent resistance to the harsh environment found at Sellafield Vitrification Plant
Beakbane products have also been widely used in decommissioning work and in materials handling applications. Here, the aim is generally to prevent the mechanism becoming contaminated by radioactive material. It is far cheaper to replace the bellows than a complex piece of machinery. We have also worked on inspection projects, including a large bellows, around 10m high, that protected a hoist that was used to lower a camera into the boiler of a nuclear generator.
Whether you are working on new-build, fuel processing or decommissioning, we look forward to sharing our expertise with you.