22 June 2017
Prior to starting at Bradwell Power Station nearly 8 years ago, Munro had zero experience in the nuclear sector. Since then, the company has undergone one of the biggest learning curves in our history as an M&E contractor and maintenance provider.
Now working across 3 sites run by Magnox Ltd, Munro’s Chelmsford branch is harnessing their expertise and knowledge of this sector to a new level. The current sites at Dungeness in Kent, Bradwell in Essex and Sizewell in Suffolk can be read about in more detail here: Nuclear & Energy Sector Overview
Vernon Cox, Associate Director explains how our team has adjusted to the nuclear environment:
“Nuclear projects are not your run of the mill jobs. The regulations and systems in this complex and dangerous environment are worlds away from what a regular mechanical and electrical contractor deals with.
It is a very demanding environment for engineering excellence and a difficult sector to enter into. The stringent planning and highly protocoled work processes results in few subcontractors being able to meet the benchmark required and subsequently given the opportunity to work on these projects.
Not only must you be trusted by the client and management teams to undertake the project to their standards and specifications, you must also adhere to other regulations. Just stepping foot onto the site requires passing significant training, specialist equipment, high level security clearances, rigorous health checks and much more.”
Harnessing Expertise and Lessons Learnt to Shape Future Projects
In recent years, Munro has worked very closely with Magnox, and its framework contractors, to harness our expertise and lessons learnt to support the development of future programmes and projects. We have taken every opportunity available to prove our abilities which has led to growth and continuity in this sector.
An example of this is the AVDS Project at Bradwell. This project consisted of the electrical design and installation of systems and controls for the Advanced Vacuum Drying System. With Munro being the first team to perform installations of this kind in the UK, and to an exceptionally high standard and with zero incidents, Magnox are now looking to use the same team to transfer the learning into future AVDS projects at other sites.
Adapting as a company to the nuclear sector required patience. Gaining nuclear competency takes time and the turnaround is not as fast as with other projects. However, getting to a point where our client has the utmost confidence in us was integral for our development and is the ultimate achievement for our nuclear team.
Whilst the nature of nuclear decommissioning is to safely close down the former nuclear power stations, it is clear that the nuclear sector is not going anywhere any time soon. For example, at Bradwell Power Station the current Care and Maintenance period, will take roughly 80-100 years.
Combining this with the recent announcements from EDF to refuel Sizewell B, it is clear our journey into nuclear power is sure to go on much into future. In the meantime, we will continue to strive to fulfil our clients’ needs and remain a supply chain partner that is important to them.