Dominion Energy Virginia, a unit of Dominion Energy, Inc., finalized purchase of a Link-Belt 150-ton RTC-80150 Series II for North Anna Power Station in Mineral, VA. A scheduled shutdown every 18 months for the generating plant requires repairs and maintenance around the clock for a 30-day period.
During the shutdown several critical component lifts are made including replacement of an 80,000 pound, 7,000 horsepower electric motor that powers the reactor coolant pump or an 18,000 pound vessel cover that requires being picked and carried 300 feet around existing components.
“Our RTC-80150 stays right next to the material deck by the containment hatch for the lift to replace the old motor. We place it behind the crane until the new unit comes in on a tractor/trailer. The new unit is lifted and swung 45 degrees to the top deck and the old motor is then placed on the trailer. We lifted them at about a 28 foot (8.5 m) radius with 71.5 feet of boom out,” explains Adam Livingstone, general foreman at North Anna Power Station.
“This crane has the small footprint and long boom needed for this facility,” said North Anna Facilities Support Superintendent, Kenneth Boyd.
“It cut our time down to a fraction of what we were spending before. Days before a lift, we would have to spend a lot of time and effort just moving components to fit a truck crane in. The RTC-80150 has the capacity for a valve replacement, or the reach for all of our preventative maintenance,” said Boyd.
Over time, Boyd and Livingstone have rented as many as nine cranes at a time to complete maintenance during planned outages and other facility requirements. According to Boyd, obtainment of the RTC-80150 Series II has cut their total down to three cranes.
“The fit is fantastic for us!” emphasized Boyd.
Case in point the RTC-80150 Series II is able to maneuver between the huge concrete containment dome and an adjoining building with various components at their perimeter. An older 65-ton crane could have fit through the alley way that is about 11 feet wide to the destination, but didn’t have the reach to set certain high valves in the confined space. With a smaller footprint than the 65-ton crane, the RTC-80150 maneuvered into the location using the assist from front wheel steer to crab steer, to rear wheel steer, to final position.
“The 80150 is a workhorse for us. It’s so much more agile than what we had before. We now have the mobility to access all parts of either dome for inspection from one spot. Realistically, it’s almost as though it’s an extension of the operator, it’s just that precise. The controls, the ease, access, the layout of the controls, monitors, the diagnostics of the monitors for the engine as well as for hydraulic boom sections is all easily accessible and you just glance to one side or the other – operator comfort is second to none. All the safety aspects, the safety features pertaining to this unit are exactly what we expect from a crane at a nuclear power station such as ours,” said Roderick Reynolds, lead technician at North Anna Power Station.