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Demolition and Decommissioning

Ridge provided commercially-focussed services to enable the client to successfully decommission a challenging site, where radioactive nuclides for the medical and life sciences industries had been manufactured.

The client required the demolition and decommissioning of a number of facilities and structures on the 12-hectare site. This had to take place while meeting the client’s key goals, which were to:

  • Minimise disruption to the client’s production activities and research and development work
  • Minimise lost-time accidents
  • Facilitate co-operation between a large number of stakeholders and an extensive supply chain
  • Promote a positive safety culture.

The works included the demolition of a 50m high Glass Reinforced Plastic chimney in the centre of the site, as well as its concrete support. This support structure was a post-tensioned system and the flue was radiologically contaminated.

To ensure that this sensitive part of the project was delivered safely, steeplejacks removed the flues before mast climbers facilitated the stack demolition. Each concrete segment was then wire-sawed and lifted down from the stack individually.

Ridge also supported the demolition of a 2,500m² concrete-frame building, which was contaminated with the radioactive isotopes tritium and carbon-14. Because of the unique challenges faced by the project team, an ‘inside-out’ method was adopted to ensure that high-risk contamination was captured by the existing building shell. Additional structural strengthening was required and close monitoring of the building ensured the safety of the demolition operatives.

So successful were the methodologies and the approach taken by the decommissioning team that they have been cited as best practice by the regulators overseeing this type of project.

Demolition

Demolition

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