The capabilities of Promat DURASTEEL® non-combustible protective panels were again highlighted when they were chosen for a safety-critical application at a UK nuclear power station. The high-performance DURASTEEL® panels were specified by specialist contractor Dunbar Wallace Fire Protection, for the refurbishment of a pair of Hot Gas Release Doors on the Heysham 1 site in Lancashire.
Bedfordshire-based Dunbar Wallace is a licensed installer of Promat DURASTEEL®, and was chosen to refurbish the doors by EDF Energy. “The doors are some 4 metres high and lead into the individual reactor basement area,” explains the company’s Technical Support Engineer, Danny Wallace. “They are designed to seal when shut, and they were already clad with Promat DURASTEEL® which had given good service for over 20 years. However, the doors provide vital protection for one of the power station’s safety-critical areas, and the time had come to refurbish them.”
The project required that Dunbar Wallace was able refurbish the doors within a short time window which coincided with a planned period of reactor maintenance. “We installed 9.5mm-thick DURASTEEL® panels to give the doors up to 240 minutes fire protection,” adds Danny Wallace. “We fitted these to the original steel frames that had been fully refurbished, and added a galvanised steel channel lipping to finish off the edge of the DURASTEEL® panels”
The Promat DURASTEEL® system was specifically developed to provide a high level of fire and blast protection for doors, as well as partitioning, walls, ducting and ceilings in demanding environments. Each DURASTEEL® panel features a rugged, composite construction with a fibre-reinforced cement core which is mechanically bonded to punched steel sheets on both surfaces. This makes the panels light, strong and durable, and gives them great resistance to fire, blasts and physical impact.
A DURASTEEL® system will also resist the effects of firefighters’ hoses, and remain able to perform its original function, even after a fire. These systems have been used successfully for many years, and on a wide range of applications, including rail and metro projects, military developments plus commercial, pharmaceutical and petrochemical facilities.
The Heysham 1 site houses two Advanced Gas-Cooled Reactors and has the capacity to provide a 1,155 MW supply to the National Grid.