Suffolk-based concrete firm Poundfield Products has come to the aid of the UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA).
The firm was tasked as part of an upgrade to the Mega Ampere Spherical Tokamak (MAST) fusion experiment.
Back in 2012, Poundfield Products Ltd had originally supplied 16 blocks that form one of the walls around the main vacuum vessel, a cylinder 4m diameter by 4 m high, within which UKAEA conducts fusion tests.
To access the vacuum vessel, part of the blockhouse had to be removed and once the vessel was reinstated, the Poundfield blocks were used to fill the 6m wide by 6m high gap. At this point it was discovered that an additional block was required – and urgently.
According to James Treadgold, MAST’s Buildings and Infrastructure project manager “filling this wall could have been done a number of ways but the precast blocks from Poundfield Products have made it much easier and allow us the possibility to remove them in the future if we need to.”
“The blocks are a complex chevron shape to ensure there are no radiation shine paths and were precision cast to precisely fill the gap”.
“Overall, the quality of the blocks is good and coupled with their responsiveness, Poundfield are a pleasure to work with” concluded James.
Tim Evans, Poundfield’s director of bespoke products, explained “the key issues here were both accuracy in manufacturing the additional block to ensure compliance with those previously supplied and a swift turnaround given its vital importance to UKAEA. I’m pleased to say that we scored highly on both.”