Published on: 16th January 2019   |   Universal Networks

Doosan Babcock

A specialist in the energy sector, delivering engineering, aftermarket and upgrade services.  Doosan Babcock is one of the world’s leading providers of advanced efficient boilers and biomass conversion technology and have been a major supplier to the nuclear industry for over 65 years. With a vast presence in the UK nuclear sector, Doosan provide essential services to support the generation of safe, reliable, cost-effective nuclear power.

Sizewell B

Sizewell B is the UK’s only pressurised water reactor (PWR)  and is located on the Suffolk coast.  The nuclear power station is owned and operated by EDF Energy.  The station is brought offline every 18 months for refuelling and maintenance work to take place.  Fuel is replaced in the reactor and thousands of maintenance activities are completed over a number of weeks.

As a key contract partner to EDF Energy, Doosan Babcock manages the automated in-service inspections (ISI) at Sizewell B.  The automated in-service inspection work requires data to be collected from plant components and transferred to a remote location for analysis.  A critical part of the overall system is the data network, that links the inspection equipment at the component to the data acquisition team in the remote location.


System upgrade

The existing data network system is based on copper cabling and multiple connections are required to link a range of different inspection equipment systems across several inspection teams.  Recent modifications to the inspection equipment highlighted some limitations of the existing data network and a decision to upgrade the data network system was taken.

The upgrade was important as it allows the new inspection system components to work over Ethernet, providing a stable platform for now and for future upgrades.

A suitable solution

Doosan approached Universal Networks, when looking for a compatible cabling solution to work with the upgraded system.  After looking at the current network diagram, Liz Waterhouse, one of the Account Managers at Universal Networks, suggested some changes to the plan to simplify it and eliminate the number of points of failure. Most importantly, the solution put forward to Doosan works with the upgraded inspection system.


Liz comments “Another essential factor to consider for the project was cabling and containment that was rugged, durable and re-deployable. After considering all the requirements of the project, the most suitable option was a tactical IP rated deployable fibre solution”.

The main umbilical cable which connects the two work sites now uses an ArmourLux500 IP-PRO12 single mode cable.  This high density MPO type connector, is protected to IP68 standard and uses MILTAC (MILitary TACtical) singlemode cable, so is ideal for this project.  A key feature of the IP-PRO12 is the 12 fibres in one connector, which saves space and installation time, simplifying the cabling on site.

A custom made case was designed to fit the exact kit for each of the teams deployed at both locations, adding wheels to cases that are potentially heavy and awkward to carry.  The aim was to save each of the team’s time when deploying the solution.

The upgraded system will be more straightforward to assemble and test, saving time. It will also be much easier to route and to protect in containment.

“Liz has continually exceeded all expectations in the support of our project, providing guidance and expertise in the specification and supply of a fully integrated network system. Looking forward to our ongoing partnership. Thanks again.” Michael Finnie, Project Manager at Doosan Babcock.

View the ArmourLux deployable fibre range here.

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