Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) retained Northwest Demolition as a specialty contractor to remove and handle two large dipole magnets and the associated welded steel supporting structure located at Area T-53 LANSCE Proton Radiography (pRAD) Facility in New Mexico. The magnets weighed approximately 150 tons a piece and were located inside of the pRAD dome facility. Additionally, the magnets’ activated materials required all work to be performed under radiological controls.
Due to the size of the magnets, as well as the limited access inside the dome, specialty heavy rigging contractor Mammoet was subcontracted to rig, hoist, and lower the magnets. This necessitated the mobilization of a 700-ton gantry system and 130-ton mobile crane. Once the gantry was in position and the load of the magnet transferred from the support structure to the gantry, removal of the heavy steel supports began. The structure was systematically torch cut and removed from the dome.
After a significant portion was removed, the magnet was rolled forward and lowered to the ground in a custom-fabricated steel cradle. Once in the cradle, the magnet– which was constructed of 11 separate pieces bolted together– was disassembled. The entire process was repeated for the second magnet.
The project’s critically sensitive time schedule ensured that the lab’s proton beam could be restarted on time. The aggressive 13-week schedule was completed two weeks ahead of time. This project highlights Northwest Demolition’s experience working with large scale, high value assets under intense scheduling and site logistics conditions.