Nuclear shows how specialised hoists can be

21 March 2017

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Of all the sectors than employ hoists and overhead lifting equipment – and they are very many and varied – the nuclear power sector must be one of the most exacting in terms of the requirements demanded of the handling and transport kit used.

Of course, safety is priority number one, two and three in the sector, for obvious reasons.

In this month’s issue we have a comprehensive, in-depth and very interesting article looking at some of the solutions for handling and transporting spent nuclear fuel. Every stage of the process requires multiple failsafe measures, to safely transport the fuel from the plants to the storage centres.

Then there’s ensuring that the equipment itself is hardwearing and robust enough to operate in close proximity to nuclear fuel, as well as enabling kit to be operated remotely in areas that are too hazardous for human operators to access.

And for these remotely-controlled machines, failsafe measures that are not electrically-controlled are often implemented, to ensure that in the event of a power failure in the hazardous area, the equipment will automatically complete the necessary steps to make the machinery accessible again.

We also speak to Penny Nuclear in this issue, the specialist division of Penny Hydraulics, to catch up with their expanding operations. Working primarily in the decommissioning business of the nuclear sector, the company has plenty of experience with the very specialised requirements of hoists and lifting equipment in that branch of the industry.

Power is a focus elsewhere in this issue, too—Demag has introduced a zero-emission overhead crane with a regenerative battery, and in Shanghai, Corvus Energy is working with CCCC Shanghai Equipment Engineering to retrofit rubber-tyred gantry cranes at a port into hybrid diesel and battery-powered cranes. The resultant fuel savings are pretty impressive around a two-third reduction - and it’s good to see both these innovations helping to cut costs and environmental impact.

And finally, to power of yet another sort - specifically my own efforts to propel myself around as much of ProMat as possible during the show, which takes place in Chicago during the first week of April.

It will be my first major trade show as editor of this magazine, so I’m keen to get the lay of the land by discussing the current state of the market with as many members of the industry as I can.

I’m also planning, of course, to check out the various innovations and improved products that will no doubt be on display across the exhibition halls.

My contact details are opposite, so feel free to get in touch if you plan to attend the show and would like to arrange a time to meet to tell me about your latest news, products and services - or just to discuss your thoughts on what is driving the industry at the moment, what you are looking for as an end user, or if you’re a manufacturer of equipment, what your customers have been asking you to provide. See you there.

Daniel Searle, editor