LLWR unveils new multi-million pound contract with Cumbrian firm

LLW Repository Ltd has today announced Cumbrian firm Bendalls Engineering as the successful bidder for the multi-million pound contract to manufacture its new Type B (Novapak) packaging for the transport of nuclear material.

An invitation to tender to construct specialised packaging was issued in August 2015 and Carlisle-based Bendalls, launched in the county as a family business in 1894, will begin manufacture early in the next financial year.

Dennis Thompson, Managing Director of LLW Repository Ltd, said: “I’m delighted that after undergoing a rigorous tender process, we are able to support a Cumbrian-based firm, its highly-skilled workforce and its commitment to investing in an extensive apprenticeship programme.”

Jonathan Evans, Head of Commercial at LLW Repository Ltd, said: “We had a good response from the market to the tender invitation and after a comprehensive assessment Bendalls emerged as the successful bidder.

“The quality of their bid was excellent. Given their high-end fabrication skills, they have experience in undertaking the type of work we require and understand our quality requirements.

“From a LLW Repository perspective, it took a team effort to get to this stage of the process with input from many functions including Quality, Procurement, Engineering and Project Management.

“We have also worked closely and collaboratively with Nuvia, who are the package design authority. They will be integrally involved through the manufacturing, operations and maintenance of the packaging.”

LLW Repository Ltd will manage the manufacture of the high-specification stainless steel packaging. Each package, around 2m³, will carry four, 200 litre drums of material.

Chris Woodhead, Bendalls MD, said: “The Novapak contract is hugely-important to Bendalls and the wider Carr’s engineering division.

“We are really pleased to have won through a highly-competitive process to work with LLWR on its delivery. The project demands the highest quality and highest integrity of engineering and manufacturing which is core business to Bendalls with over 50 years of service to the nuclear industry.

“Importantly, contracts of this nature underpin our continued investment in a highly-skilled workforce based in Cumbria.”

The Novapak will replace LLWR’s existing fleet and be in operation for eight years.

Bendalls’ Operations Director, Sean Saunders, a product of the company’s apprentice programme, said: “At Bendalls we tend to ‘grow our own’, which includes a commitment to a minimum intake of six new apprentices each year incorporating both hands-on and technical college training.

“The Novapak contract will be delivered by our highly-skilled operations team and will also provide excellent opportunities for apprentice shadowing, which is important to support the development of future talent in this area and for the wider nuclear community.”

Novapak is associated with the clean-up of higher activity waste from nuclear decommissioning. They contain an outer packaging providing thermal and main impact protection while inner packaging provides further impact protection, shielding and containment.

The packaging will be used to transport legacy Plutonium Contaminated Materials from the LLW Repository site, near Drigg, to Sellafield, in addition to materials from Magnox Harwell, in Oxfordshire.