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Pipe-in-Pipe, Helicopters and Radioactive Effluent...

As CPV is celebrating its 70th anniversary in 2019, we’re trying to pick out something that happened in each of the seven subsequent decades. 

In around 1982, we received an order to produce a polypropylene (PP) pipe-in-pipe dual containment system including pre-fabricated manholes for the drainage of radioactive waste effluent at the Hinkley Point B nuclear power station near Bridgewater.

Helicopter delivering pipe-in-pipe for Hinkley Point B radioactive effluentThe client specified that no pipe joints could be made between the buried manholes (pictured below), so we had to extrude continuous lengths of pipe and ship it to site.

Comprising of a 50mm diameter service pipe inside a 110mm OD outer pipe, it was too long for road transport, so the contractor made the decision to fly the pipes to site with a chartered helicopter (as pictured right) from our then factory in Downton.

Whilst this approach initially worked, one flight encountered difficulties. It’s thought that the downdraught from the helicopter’s rotors caused the loop of pipe to rotate and this resulted in the load having to be jettisoned into the Bristol Channel, where it was eventually recovered from the mud.

Manholes for Hinkley Point B radioactive effluentTo fulfil the project, we then shipped one of our extruders to site on the back of a lorry and produced the remaining pipe at Hinkley (pictured above).

We’re still very actively involved in the production of pipe systems for chemical and hazardous drainage applications and, in case you wondered, the pipe recovered from the Bristol Channel was eventually used by a local eel farm.

If you’d like to find out more, please give us a call.

Tags: pipe-in-pipe, hazardous-drainage, manholes