Nuclear repairs

24 April 2008

Carrying out repairs to the concrete sarcophagus at the chernobyl nuclearPower plant in the Ukraine without endangering the lives of the workforce is not an easy task. Contractor Utem used its Potain MD 3200 tower crane, operated by remote control from an anti- radiation shelter, to lift in equipment to reinforce a failing concrete wall.

The roof covering the reactor, which was damaged in 1986, is supported by two beams, which rest on the structurally unsound wall of Reactor 4. Utem is using the MD 3200 to lift in new steel supports to strengthen the wall.

Utem fixed cameras to the crane to allow the operators to monitor the lifting operations and mounted the crane on a 15 m wide, 100 m long track to move it to and from the work area. The crane can handle a load of 36,8 tonnes at the end of its 70 m long jib and has an under hook height of 72 m.

Work on site started in June this year and is expected to be completed by the end of 2006.

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