Nuclear lift for Terex

01 July 2012

The Terex AC500-2 carried out a simulated lift on the opposite side of the crane’s outrigger prior t

The Terex AC500-2 carried out a simulated lift on the opposite side of the crane’s outrigger prior to lifting the chiller units from the roof of the nuclear plant.

US contractor Edwards Inc used a Terex AC 500-2 all terrain crane for two very delicate lifts earlier this year - replacing air conditioning chiller units from the roof of the GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy Plant in Castle Hayne, North Carolina.

Due to the delicate nature of the fuel manufacturing process, the plant could not be shut down, nor could the critical production processes be interrupted, which meant planning for the pick was crucial. Factory workers were placed on alert, positioned at certain valves used to quickly shut down the plant in case there was an issue with the lift.

Other concerns from GE included the ground's ability to support the crane's weight over its four star-type outriggers. Ground core samples and ground-penetrating radar procedures were carried out as part of the lift preparation.

To remove and replace both 7.7 tonne chillers, Edwards had to mobilise its AC 500-2 twice. After replacement of the first chiller, GE required a testing period of one month before replacing the second unit.

The chillers were more than 75 metres from the 12 m high building's edge. This required the crane to work at an 86 m radius to perform the lift. It also meant that the entire lift was performed blind, with the crane operator in constant radio communication with crew members on the roof to navigate.

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