ESS Update

The placement of three more turnkey projects for equipment destined for the European Spallation Source (ESS) Active Cells continues the RACE team’s transition from requirements derivation and OJEU tendering to contract delivery.


The multimillion pound Robotic Handling System project will deliver a unique system to transport highly radioactive materials and undertake complex maintenance tasks without putting people in harm’s way. To achieve a cost effective solution and mitigate uncertainty often associated with complex design-build projects, the RACE team developed specifications to clearly define the scope but allow the contractor flexibility in their designs. The concept, designed by James Fisher Nuclear, includes two 12m span cranes of proven design; one deploying a 25t capacity grapple and the other deploying a telescopic mast with two commercially available robotic arms.


The Intrabay Doors and Floor Valves will be supplied by Ansaldo Nuclear. These safety critical shielding structures will protect people from radiation hazards located within the Active Cells and will require significant bespoke engineering to integrate with the building’s structure. Over 500t of steelwork will be needed to achieve the requirements and significant QA/QC will be necessary to demonstrate conformance to the safety case.

IDOM have been awarded the contract to supply an import/export machine known as the Component Transfer Hatch. The scope includes a pair of shield doors, a glovebox and a materials transfer mechanism. Parts of the machine will not be accessible to humans, so they must be designed to be maintained by the Robotic Handling System. Other parts of the system will be used in close conjunction with operators, so considerations including radiation safety, conventional safety and human factors are paramount.


There remain several live and upcoming tender opportunities for electrical, processes, transportation and shielding equipment. Interested parties may contact Rob Harries-Harris from the UKAEA Procurement Department for further information: Rob.Harries-Harris@ukaea.uk.

Concept design of the Robotic Handling System, designed by James Fischer Nuclear

Concept design of the Component Transfer Hatch by IDOM



ESS Update

The placement of three more turnkey projects for equipment destined for the European Spallation Source (ESS) Active Cells continues the RACE team’s transition from requirements derivation and OJEU tendering to contract delivery.


The multimillion pound Robotic Handling System project will deliver a unique system to transport highly radioactive materials and undertake complex maintenance tasks without putting people in harm’s way. To achieve a cost effective solution and mitigate uncertainty often associated with complex design-build projects, the RACE team developed specifications to clearly define the scope but allow the contractor flexibility in their designs. The concept, designed by James Fisher Nuclear, includes two 12m span cranes of proven design; one deploying a 25t capacity grapple and the other deploying a telescopic mast with two commercially available robotic arms.

Concept design of the Robotic Handling System, designed by James Fischer Nuclear

The Intrabay Doors and Floor Valves will be supplied by Ansaldo Nuclear. These safety critical shielding structures will protect people from radiation hazards located within the Active Cells and will require significant bespoke engineering to integrate with the building’s structure. Over 500t of steelwork will be needed to achieve the requirements and significant QA/QC will be necessary to demonstrate conformance to the safety case.

IDOM have been awarded the contract to supply an import/export machine known as the Component Transfer Hatch. The scope includes a pair of shield doors, a glovebox and a materials transfer mechanism. Parts of the machine will not be accessible to humans, so they must be designed to be maintained by the Robotic Handling System. Other parts of the system will be used in close conjunction with operators, so considerations including radiation safety, conventional safety and human factors are paramount.

Concept design of the Component Transfer Hatch by IDOM

There remain several live and upcoming tender opportunities for electrical, processes, transportation and shielding equipment. Interested parties may contact Rob Harries-Harris from the UKAEA Procurement Department for further information: Rob.Harries-Harris@ukaea.uk.