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Nuclear Reactor Vessel Closure Head Replacement

Bigge Power Constructors replaced the Nuclear Reactor Vessel Heads (RVH) at the three unit Palo Verde Nuclear Generation Station in Wintersburg, AZ. Bigge engineered and fabricated custom-lifting devices to lift and rotate the RV heads, as well as engineer and install a specialized elevated through-hatch runway system to extract and insert the RV heads through the elevated containment hatch.

Because the plant had unusually tight hatch clearances and the interior floor lacked load-bearing capacity, Bigge installed a specialized cantilever RV head handling system. The old heads were extracted, the new heads were rotated, lifted and set. Bigge then transported the old heads to on-site disposal using a hydraulic platform trailer.

Under a separated contract, Bigge permitted and transported the three (3) 180-ton replacement heads some 400 miles from the port of Long Beach to Palo Verde.

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