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BNS brings together two of the major spares suppliers in the nuclear industry: Alstec Power Systems and Strachan and Henshaw.

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

The station-operating companies, principally Magnox and British Energy, believe it to be preferable to deal with the OEM responsible for the design and manufacture of components in relationships that stretch back 40 or more years.

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 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, explained: ‘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 can offer an active maintenance facility, a new kitting centre and controlled workshop.

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

Phil Haddon, lead procurement engineer at Heysham II, said: ‘We developed the kitting idea with BNS and it has transformed both the way we work and our efficiency.

‘The success of the idea is such that it has now been adopted fleet wide.

‘We have BNS engineers embedded in our team here, so communication is first rate.

‘The new initiatives over the last twelve months have led to a quality increase, ensuring no gaps in our supply of spares.’

Babcock Nuclear Division

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