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Steve Vick International isolate four primary circuit feeder pipes from the SGHWR at Winfrith

Project report

Location: Winfrith

Project: Isolation of four Primary Circuit Feeder Pipes from the Steam Generating Heavy Water Reactor

Contractor: Magnox Limited (previously RSRL)

Equipment: Steve Vick International FOAMBAGS™, umbilical filling system, CCTV and closed cell polyurethane foam

Steve Vick International (SVI) has recently completed a project for Magnox Ltd. The project required SVI to design, test and install FOAMBAGS™ into four Primary Circuit Feeder Pipes attached to the Steam Generating Heavy Water Reactor (SGHWR) at Winfrith.
The operation was undertaken as part of a programme to decommission the cylindrical reactor (SGHWR) which comprises 100 channel tubes beneath, some of which contain Intermediate Level Waste (ILW). Decommissioning the core involves elevating it which in turn presents the risk of ILW falling through the channel tubes. In most instances the ILW is too large to fall out; however, two types of ILW were small enough to fall through four of the channel tubes: the Pencil Loops (50kg) and Interstitial Shield Plugs (10kg).

To remove this risk, preparation work beneath the core was required and it was decided that the safest method was to use a physical plug to prevent any ILW or other debris falling out and through the four channel tubes. Magnox decided that the best and safest option for a physical plug was the SVI FOAMBAG™ system.

Magnox chose to use SVI’s expertise and the FOAMBAG™ system following the company’s successful record of providing similar solutions previously at Winfrith, as well as at Chapelcross, Harwell and Sellafield.

The FOAMBAG™ system was first developed by SVI in the 1980s forflowstopping underground pipes in the safety critical gas distribution industry. For the past 20 years, the company has been working in the nuclear decommissioning and emergency repair sector where FOAMBAG™ technology has proved to be extremely effective in encapsulating and locking down loose contamination.

SC Innovation joins Somerset Energy Innovation Centre to expand presence in low carbon and nuclear

Image courtesy of  SWMAS

Image courtesy of SWMAS


Devon based Design and Engineering firm, SC Innovation, a world leader in specialist equipment for harsh environments, has become the first South West based engineering SME to open an office in the Somerset Energy Innovation Centre in Bridgwater.  The new centre is a catalyst for collaboration between national and South West companies and was officially opened in February.

SC Innovation has joined the Centre to expand its presence in the region’s growing low carbon and nuclear energy sectors through forming new partnerships.  Earlier this year it gained Fit for Nuclear (F4N) status from the Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (NAMRC), positioning SC Innovation to bid for work on Hinkley Point C and other work in the nuclear sector, including decommissioning. 

The Centre also offers opportunities for SC Innovation to develop its renewable energy business.  Its expertise includes developing high specification equipment for the marine environment, such as the lifeboat launch and recovery system for the RNLI’s 16 ton Shannon class; translating concepts into products for wave and tidal energy for Fred Olsen on the BOLT 2 wave energy device and the Whatever Input to Torsion Transfer (WITT) renewable energy device; and conceiving the SMV24 multi-purpose support vessel to support offshore wind farms. 

The Centre offers flexible offices and meeting spaces and is owned by Somerset County Council and part funded by the European Regional Development Fund. It is managed by Business West, Somerset Chamber of Commerce and SWMAS, who run the Centre as well as providing advice and practical support.  Tenants benefit from access to a wide range of business support programmes and expertise including the co-located Hinkley Supply Chain Team. SWMAS advises manufacturers in the South West of England and has supported more than 2000 local businesses. SWMAS has supported SC Group businesses Supacat, SC Innovation and Blackhill Engineering through training workshops, manufacturing diagnostics and accessing new markets, including through the F4N programme.

Joe WilcoxHead of SC Innovation said:

“Being at the SEIC is a strategic move for SC Innovation to grow our energy business and take advantage of the exciting and collaborative opportunities opening up to companies in the South West.
"We also value SWMAS’s role as they understand what support companies need to develop strategic growth plans and access new markets.”

Nick Golding, Supply Chain Manager at SWMAS said:

“We are extremely pleased to welcome SC Innovation to the Centre and to have the opportunity to support our tenants to form new collaborations and access new business opportunities. A key part of this support will be through our newly formed Low Carbon Energy Network which is open to all interested companies to help them make new connections with like-minded companies and access business support. We offer a unique opportunity as SWMAS are working in partnership with the Hinkley Supply Chain Team and Nuclear South West.”

SC Innovation is the brand for delivering engineering solutions to the energy, marine and specialist vehicles sectors of SC Group. In September 2015 the company rebranded under a new SC identity to take it forward in its expansion into new markets and provide a clear customer focus for its products.