Autumn/Winter 2017

JFMS praised for UXO clearance at Hinkley Point C

JFMS delivers a turnkey unexploded ordnance (UXO) service, safely surveying, identifying and disposing of devices to ensure the site was clear of risk prior to the installation of Costain’s seawater cooling system.

In the Summer 2017 issue of Pelican we reported that James Fisher Marine Services (JFMS) had won a £5 million contract to conduct subsea surveys of the seabed around the Hinkley Point C [external link] nuclear power station. The team has subsequently delivered a turnkey unexploded ordnance (UXO) service, safely surveying, identifying and disposing of devices to ensure the site was clear of risk prior to the installation of Costain’s seawater cooling system.

The work, which kicked off with hydrographic surveying to identify potential seabed debris, subsequently continued with diver investigations over the summer months from the vessel DUC solution, and now the team has received praise from major contractor, Costain for the complex, intricate and potentially dangerous work.

Costain’s senior engineer, Matthew Friedlander-Moseley praised the ‘high level of professionalism’ involved and thanked the JFMS team for ‘working hard in challenging conditions.’

‘This was an extremely challenging project for our divers.'

Says Mike Bailey, subsea general manager at JFMS.

Strong tidal waters and murky conditions meant they had to work with very limited visibility.

‘There are extremely high tidal ranges in the Severn Estuary which added to the challenge,’

‘When the JFMS divers spotted a target which had the characteristics of UXO, it was tagged with a surface marker buoy, and Royal Navy EOD divers were called in to the water the further investigate,’

Explains Mike.

In total, 120 underwater objects were investigated and the team safely identified five World War II bombs (including two 250lb bombs and one 500lb bomb) among the metal debris (which included pipes, wire, ship anchors and even an old car prop shaft). The team then worked closely with the Royal Navy to ensure the safe and controlled disposal of the identified UXO.

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