Creator Scaffold Design and UKSSH were proud to be part of supplying a complex HAKI Temporary Roof that enabled the removal of radioactive sludge in record time.

Working closely with Creator Scaffold Design, UKSSH supplied a Haki Temporary Roof that enabled a redundant sixty-year-old settling tank at Sellafield to be cleared of radioactive sludge and then be resealed in record time.

Despite the complexity of the project, it took Creator Scaffold Design just 12 weeks to design, deploy and commission the structure.

Clay Pickworth of Creator Scaffold Design explains that the rolling aspect of the roof was critical to the success of the project: “By designing a rolling roof we enabled scaffolders to build the structure from a position of relative safety and push it out over the tank – the alternative (traditional) approach would have required scaffolders to work over an open tank of radioactive liquor”.

A leak from the sump of a redundant settling tank was discovered in 2019 and – although it posed no immediate risk to people – required urgent work to fix it.

The settling tank had been put into a care and maintenance regime in the 1990’s, with decommissioning planned for the 2030’s, but that all changed in 2019 when the leak was discovered.

In the 1990’s the work could have taken years, but despite the Covid-19 lockdown, the work was completed in just nine months with innovations that have helped accelerate the decommissioning of the wider site.

The primary requirement was to perform waste retrieval operations at a safe distance for humans while minimising any airborne contamination. The HAKITEC 750 Roof System from UK System Scaffold Hire was the perfect solution: Lightweight, safe, fast and easy to erect, the HAKITEC 750’s highly effective weatherproof seal provides maximum protection against the elements and helps to contain hazardous materials.

The temporary roof enabled a gantry to be built above the tank which supported a remotely operated crane that lowered the necessary tooling to safely remove radioactive sludge and waste before re-concreting the base of the tank to reseal it.

The solution was so effective that, now that the immediate problem has been overcome, the system remains in place to clean up other areas of the same facility.