Barnhart Removes and Replaces Feedwater Heaters At Nebraska Nuclear Facility

Dec 9, 2003

(MEMPHIS) — Barnhart Crane & Rigging Co. utilized its engineering and rigging expertise in the recent removal and replacement of two feedwater heaters at a nuclear power station in Nebraska.

The station features a pressurized light water reactor (PWR) with an electrical output capacity of 492 megawatts,and is owned and operated by the Omaha Public Power District.

The nuclear power plant went on line in September 1973, and major equipment at the power plant is being replaced to extend the plant’s operating life by an additional 20 years beyond the currently scheduled closing date of 2013, pending approval of a license renewal application by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

As part of the replacement program, Barnhart Crane was contracted to remove two 25-ton feedwater heaters. The difficulty of the job was due to the plant’s floor not being designed to accommodate such heavy loads. The removal and replacement was further complicated by tight spaces between existing structures within the plant.

“Our sales and engineering team was contracted to provide structural analysis for the floor shoring required to support the loads,” said Art Porter, Project Sales, Barnhart Crane & Rigging Co. Based on Barnhart’s recommendations, the flooring was shored up accordingly to accommodate the move.

The Barnhart team also worked with the heater fabricator to provide a light hydraulic slide and rotation system to move the heaters across the reinforced floor to the facility’s overhead crane bay. The resulting light slide system was designed by Barnhart engineers to move equipment weighing up to 100 tons—far in excess of the weight of the feedwater heaters. The proprietary system was designed to be assembled, operated and dismantled by a two-person crew. The heaters were loaded onto transporters for removal at the crane bay.

The system was used in reverse to bring in and install the new heaters. Barnhart’s careful planning, teamwork and innovative solution to the challenging move kept downtime to a minimum: the old heater units were removed and the new units moved into place two and a half days ahead of schedule. Barnhart has developed a reputation in the nuclear power industry for providing innovative rigging solutions that save operators hours or even days on critical path activities, such as component replacement.

Barnhart Crane & Rigging, established in 1969, is a leading national supplier of specialized heavy rigging and transportation solutions. The company, with 13 locations across the United States, and a branch office in Sao Paulo, Brazil, also provides crane services, machinery moving and plant relocations, as well as project cargo logistics and heavy equipment storage at its 100-acre, 700,000-
square-foot warehouse facility in Memphis, Tenn. Barnhart Crane & Rigging, an ISO 9001 certified supplier, also operates terminal facilities at the Port of Memphis and the deepwater Port of Mobile, Ala. For more information, visit

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