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In terms of providing nuclear spares, BNS Nuclear Services has re-evaluated its approach to the task of keeping Britain’s nuclear power stations operational.

Dick Collinson, business manager, nuclear spares and service at BNS Bristol, said: ‘We now hold a range of components a station is likely to need for the next 12 months, ensuring optimum quantity and delivery performance.

‘In particular, the advent of maintenance kits for control rod actuators has completely transformed the way we work.

‘We are currently manufacturing 1,000 kits a year and this will increase significantly when we create kits for fuel plugs, machine valves, fuelling machine components, burst can detection valve and cable change.’

The spares department at BNS Leicester specialises in fuel-route-related equipment.

Steve Underwood, nuclear after-sales business manager, said: ‘We have carried out “end-of-life” studies on items that we refurbish at BNS Leicester, enabling us to provide a better service to our customers.

‘Recently, we carried out studies that will give demonstrable improvements to future nose unit refurbishments at Hartlepool and Heysham.

‘Now we plan to apply the same discipline to fuelling machine hoists and plugs, as well as fuelling and control grabs.

‘In cases where obsolescence is causing our customers problems, we offer a reverse engineering service; from design to final commissioning.

‘Sometimes a full design is required, but sometimes it’s just some lateral thinking, like when we converted Dungeness A’s control rods to the Oldbury design.’

BNS offers an active maintenance facility, a new kitting centre and controlled workshop.

Spares and service teams are multi-disciplinary, comprising fitters, planners, QA specialists, design engineers, project engineers, administrators and inspection experts.

BNS brings together two spares suppliers: Alstec and Strachan and Henshaw.

These companies were the original suppliers of much equipment to Britain’s nuclear power stations.

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