In preparation for the APS Upgrade, modifications were needed to the radiation shielding in the particle accumulator ring (PAR). This was a large undertaking, considering tight working conditions and each steel panel of shielding was 4 inches thick, 2 feet wide, and 76 inches tall, and it weighed approximately 2,100 lbs. The modifications required a double layer of steel panels on the PAR concrete walls, totaling 8-inch thickness. The job involved installing a total of over 50 tons of steel. A custom installation cart was designed to fit the PAR’s limited work space.
Due to the complexity and increased risk of this project, the team implemented many WPC best practices and human performance improvement (HPI) tools to increase communication and reduce potential errors. The team conducted a mock-up of the job, utilized a senior safety lookout to oversee work operations, hosted multiple pre-job and post-job briefings, and held daily Microsoft Teams briefings to ensure the team understood the work tasks and responsibilities each day. Also, by discussing “what-if” scenarios, they anticipated and planned for >90% of interferences with PAR components and issues relating to mechanical tolerances and knew how to quickly respond to any remaining interferences.
Additionally, the expertise of and collaboration with the support personnel greatly assisted in the project’s success. The rigging team was trained in advance on the custom equipment, and the APS Machine Shops and Central Shops turned around small jobs quickly.
Futhermore, the team did not allow schedule pressure to affect the safe execution of this project. The team made the decision to delay the shielding installation from the April/May APS shutdown to the August/September shutdown due to an issue with the casters on the transport cart. There is always schedule pressure, but this team decided they could ultimately wait until the next shutdown rather than try to move ahead with increased risk and potential safety issues. The team expertly completed the job ahead of the estimated time needed.
Congratulations to this team on the safe and successful completion of a complex, hazardous work operation