Nuclear Power

Nuclear Power

Mammoet delivers end-to-end heavy lifting and transport solutions to optimize construction, increase safety and reduce downtime for the nuclear power sector.

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Throughout the lifespan of a nuclear power plant, Mammoet’s heavy lifting and transport services form a key part of its efficient and successful operation. Our track record in the nuclear industry is what sets us apart.

Since the very first light bulbs were illuminated using nuclear energy in 1951, around 440 civil nuclear power reactors have become operational and currently they provide approximately 11% of the world’s electricity. Demand for energy continues to grow and, worldwide, some 60 nuclear power plants are under construction. While the primary focus of plant owners and operators is maintaining the highest safety standards, increasingly there’s the need to aid global competitiveness by finding ways to reduce costs and improve efficiency.

Heavy lifting experience

Mammoet has been closely involved in the nuclear industry since the early 1970s. We have provided heavy lifting and transport services to around one in five nuclear plants currently operational. By combining our engineers’ professionalism and creativity with our organization’s pragmatic can-do attitude, we have taken our heavy lifting and transport expertise across the world. From installing a reactor pressure vessel in Sweden in 1972 to the operation in 2016 to safely enclose the damaged Chernobyl reactor, our experience and track record are second to none. From planning and design, to the construction or decommissioning of a facility, we relish the challenge and use proven smart approaches to heavy lifting and transport to help you bring your go-live dates forward.

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Planning expertise

Employing our engineers’ skills and experience at the planning stage reaps huge benefits for nuclear plant owners and operators. Integrating heavy lifting and transport requirements – including equipment, vehicles, local infrastructure and bottlenecks – into the initial phase of a construction project means the critical path can be determined early on. This ensures that the overall logistics help streamline and bring forward the program of work.

Global capacity

Mammoet’s worldwide network of offices and fleet of state-of-the-art vehicles and equipment enable us to assist nuclear power plant projects wherever they are in the world. We have an extensive contacts book in shipping and among the port authorities across the globe. We know exactly which paperwork is required for the smooth, safe transit of outsize and heavy parts across borders, through docks and local infrastructures – including road works, traffic, weather, terrain and even political complications. Neither ice nor sand pose a threat to us delivering reactors or unit modules on time. Even in locations remote to our offices we can mobilize the transportation and heavy lifting equipment suitable to your project, and deliver on time.

Optimizing productivity

Agreeing upon the engineered heavy lifting and transport schedule for a nuclear plant project will have a positive influence on costs and potential downtime. Whether you want to plan a transport program for your facility’s outsize and heavy parts so that there are no surprises or delays en route, or analyze modularization versus bespoke design, Mammoet’s team of specialists can contribute to your project’s success. We have a team of specialized engineers whose comprehensive perspective helps to quickly and safely develop practical approaches for moving contaminated materials in confined spaces, for example. If you need us to, we will design and build customized equipment for specific locations and complete the work so that it meets the nuclear industry’s stringent safety requirements.

Safety and efficiency

Anyone involved in the nuclear industry works to the highest safety standards possible. Mammoet is no different and our combination of engineering expertise, modern equipment and experience with nuclear facilities mean we meet the industry’s key competitive criteria of saving time and money while always delivering a safe and high-quality execution.

Thorough planning for successful nuclear plant construction

Mammoet’s engineered heavy lifting and transport experience helps ensure the best results during the nuclear plant construction process.

As your engineered heavy lifting and transport partner, Mammoet can help manage a great deal of the risk associated with nuclear plant construction.

Through detailed planning and design early in the project, we give careful consideration to its crucial safety, environmental and licensing aspects, contributing to a smooth-running and safer project. This, in turn, helps us bring commissioning dates forward, lowers capital expenditure and renders future outages, such as for steam generator replacements.

Adding value to the process

Different plant and route designs can have a major impact on the heavy lifting and transport requirements during the construction phase of a nuclear power plant, resulting in greater risks and increased costs. This is where our engineering and logistical experience can add significant value to nuclear projects right from the planning stage.

There are a number of ways Mammoet can do this: through providing cost analysis of different design and route options; assisting with documentation; and through finding creative engineering solutions to problems identified at the planning stage. Considering such factors early during the project optimizes the design of the facility, its components and the project’s on-time delivery.

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Planning and design: points to consider

  • Optimal design of plant and components, which takes into account what is and is not possible in terms of lifting and transportation technologies. Mammoet’s expertise in engineered heavy lifting and transport can help assess the scale and capabilities of equipment required and offer a range of solutions for the best outcomes.
  • Constraints in terms of site, weather, permits, environmental and safety issues. Site accessibility can be determined by elevations, laydown areas, or heavy lift footprint. Transport routes and their potential physical constraints should be considered, e.g. power lines, bridges, roads, turning circles, etc. as well as key labor constraints such as availability, skills, rates and productivity.
  • Dimensional limitations according to different national rules and regulations need to be taken into account.
  • Available yards or possible alternatives.
  • Material loading and unloading facilities.
  • Alternative routes and the cost implications of different transport chains.
  • Safety has to be the main priority, throughout. 

Early collaboration saves time

For the best outcomes, we share our experience and in-depth knowledge of heavy lifting and transport equipment with nuclear plant construction engineers and contractors at an early stage of the project. Following a thorough analysis of all possible routes and installation methods, together we identify the best methods of approach and create solutions to overcome possible challenges such as obstacles or bottlenecks. Our goal is always to find ways of reducing risks, minimizing costs and saving time. 

By exploring alternative routes, methods and technologies there are many opportunities we can identify for efficiencies and for safer methods of transport and installation to be designed.

Early collaboration and planning also enables all the essential paperwork – from safety licenses to work permits and traffic regulation compliances – to be accurately prepared and in place well in advance of our heavy lifting and transport equipment being deployed. 

Edvinas Ivanauskas

The value of design through consultation

After over 40 years’ experience working on nuclear power plant construction, outage and decommissioning projects, at Mammoet we believe that 90% of a project’s overall success stems from the preparatory planning and design phase.

Offering such in-depth planning support and collaborative working at an early stage allows time for essential insight to be built, enables thorough engagement with the areas that require the most care, and creates in-depth management solutions for mitigating the risks.

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Heavy lifting and transport plans installation can hinge on a number of factors that need to be considered in order to get components delivered to their new location safely and on time. For plants using preassembled or standardized parts, for example, the planning stage is essential to ensure our clients have the time to develop the best design for those parts. 

For more bespoke construction approaches, having prior, detailed knowledge of the entire chain of activities required to lift, transport and install components, including site accessibility, handover points, width restrictions and local traffic hot spots, can result in significant safety and operational benefits. 

Investing time at the planning and design stage to carry out thorough route surveys and consider all the possible constraints applicable to a nuclear power plant site avoids unnecessary delays later in the process. It ensures the best use of resources and may even help move deadlines forward. 

Edvinas Ivanauskas is the General Manager of Mammoet Baltic. He has experience in site preparation, logistic activities and new project development for nuclear power projects dating back to 2008. Since 2013 he has been part of the Mammoet team responsible for the Baltic region and covering nuclear activities in Europe. 

Edvinas Ivanauskas

Taking care of the critical path

Mammoet’s engineered heavy lifting and transport services deliver oversized but delicate factory-to-foundation nuclear power plant items safely, in the right order and on time.

Our clients can rely on us to develop alternative solutions when the shipping of their oversized nuclear power plant items requires heavy lifting and transport expertise.

Putting Mammoet’s professional knowledge of the world’s ports and highways infrastructure to use helps overcome the limitations that create bottlenecks and that demand new approaches.

With the benefit of many years’ experience, we define the most efficient route, often consisting of a chain of different transport modes and involving multiple handover points. All options require close and detailed coordination to minimize delays and reduce risks to safety.

Our logistics plan will cover factors such as switching between land and sea and coping with extreme conditions, like those found in the Arctic or in desert environments, and keep them as straightforward as possible.

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As specialist services partners to the nuclear industry, at Mammoet we know we must ensure the smooth progress of these oversized loads, across borders, with all paperwork in perfect order, so that we meet and exceed delivery, optimization and uptime expectations.

An unbroken logistics chain 

A factory-to-foundation (FtF) service combines the expertise of managing complex logistics with specialist skill and insight in handling heavy and oversized items. We deliver a tailor-made logistics chain, especially in cases where infrastructural limitations rule out standard routes, and we include meticulous safety assessments. For example, we can design and build special barges for awkward water-to-shore access or gantry systems that can be skidded to different locations at a nuclear power plant unit.

The logistical benefits of an optimized FtF service are in reducing safety risks, improving construction efficiency and preventing delays. The delivery of the key components to the facility and their installation are always on the critical path of any nuclear power plant construction project. 

Logistics in nuclear plant construction

The transport of oversized and heavy components for the nuclear industry requires a profound understanding of the project’s specific transport and safety needs. This comes with experience. Dealing with different customs, regulations and paperwork across a variety of countries and different modes of transport takes careful management. All the transition points must run seamlessly, while logistical bottlenecks need to be effectively and safely overcome.

Mammoet has broad and longstanding hands-on experience in all modes of transport. Our skilled operators have extensive knowledge of transport regulations in countries around the globe and long-standing relationships with the relevant transport agencies.

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We own the widest range of the most state-of-the-art equipment available for heavy lifting and transport. On water, we have access to a fleet of ships and, on land, an extensive, global fleet of vehicles and specialist trailers. Our experience with different modes of transport combined with our global network of offices and contacts translates into reliable and efficient logistics solutions meeting the specialized needs of our clients in the nuclear energy sector.

That global network stands our engineers and our clients in good stead. Naturally, our equipment is maintained to the most stringent standards to ensure safety. In specific cases where we do not have our own equipment available, however, we can rely on that worldwide and well-tested network of partners. If needed, Mammoet offers storage and transshipment services through our own or third party terminals. And all this with one purpose in mind: to maximize nuclear plant uptime, with no delay and no compromise on safety.

Sales manager for Mammoet Logistics, Lars Lamet, has spent the last 15 years working for Mammoet’s commercial departments, including for the fossil fuel and nuclear energy markets. He is a keen exponent of the factory-to-foundation approach to nuclear projects.


Using Mammoet’s proven heavy lifting and transport expertise ensures safety remains a top priority, while creating opportunities for an efficient construction process.

When working with an experienced engineering partner like Mammoet, the ongoing development of new transport methods and heavy lifting technology can lead to innovation in nuclear power plant design, while saving time and reducing costs. 

With the support of the right team and equipment to transport oversized and heavy parts and plant structures to the construction site, nuclear plant and component designers can concentrate on developing innovative new techniques in design and power plant construction.

This, in turn, lends itself to driving the nuclear industry forward with much potential in improving safety standards and avoiding delays. 

Since the design of the first fully commercial nuclear reactors in the late 1950s and 1960s nuclear energy capacity has grown slowly and steadily around the globe. By the late 1990s, commissioning of newer reactor designs, known as third-generation reactors, began in response to the increased demand.

Plant design and construction has changed over the years, with some companies choosing to use standard designs for plants and their components and a ‘modular’ approach to their assembly. Constructing and preassembling pipework and other elements of the plant off-site and then shipping these parts to the facility site has many advantages. This approach can reduce risks, keep the project schedule on track and enable work to be carried out in the locations where specialized skills are available.

However, these oversized preassembled plant structures and heavy components need to be transported safely and with extreme care, requiring specialized transport and installation services. This is where Mammoet’s experience, equipment and ingenuity work to make us the right team to carry out the job.

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Streamlining for best outcomes

Constructing nuclear plants is a complex business, with multiple activities performed simultaneously by different contractors and subcontractors. Typically, each contractor works according to their own scope of tasks and schedule, deploying their own equipment and employing their people to operate it.

The mix of contractors and complex division of responsibilities can lead to less effective communication, unnecessary amounts of heavy equipment being on-site, delays becoming unavoidable and, ultimately, safety being compromised.

By integrating delivery of major components and their heavy lifting requirements through Mammoet, complications and disruptions can be minimized. Our engineered heavy lifting and transport specialists can develop one dedicated, optimized package serving the objectives of the entire nuclear plant construction project. This will help you bring the nuclear plant online safely and cost effectively, while making the whole process more manageable for the plant owner and operator.

What are the benefits of using one business for end-to-end engineered heavy lifting and transport services?

  • One pool of equipment and professionals is responsible for the safe execution of all lifting and transport activities on-site.
  • One point of contact streamlines and simplifies communication.
  • Fewer operators are on-site and labor costs are reduced.
  • Standardization of job preparation and execution leads to increased safety and efficiency.
  • Less equipment on-site keeps the site clearer and more efficient plus it reduces costs associated with mobilization and demobilization. 

Pete Ashton

Creative solutions for efficient nuclear power plant construction

Optimization of engineered heavy lifting and transport when building a new plant, for both the civil construction and component installation, is still uncharted territory in many nuclear projects. It offers great opportunities to cut risks, improve safety, avoid delays and streamline processes. Working in partnership with Mammoet, clients can identify efficiency improvements, both on-site and in the construction processes, thereby avoiding costly overruns.

Mammoet’s specialists can also improve the quality of the construction process through the application of site-wide standards and seamless communication and handover at each stage of the project.

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Looking to the future, increased modularization of construction and standardization of components will have an important role to play in nuclear plant construction optimization. In support, Mammoet can provide creative route, engineering and equipment solutions tailored to the specific needs of a nuclear plant project. The construction process can fully exploit a modular approach when innovative transport and lifting solutions are supplied.

Whether or not new plant owners choose to use off-site preassembly, fully modular construction or a stick-built approach, there are undoubted efficiencies to be achieved when heavy lifting and transport is carried out by just one trusted party like Mammoet. This minimizes the safety and process risks associated with multiple contractors and maximizes the efficiency of the transport and construction processes. In short, single sourced lifting and transport activities contribute to increased safety and optimized schedules.

Pete Ashton is the Nuclear Services Director for Mammoet USA. Pete has been involved with specialized rigging systems and cranes for large component handling related to new construction, maintenance, replacement outages, and decommissioning since 1999.

Pete Ashton

Safely reducing downtime

Mammoet meets the challenge of each nuclear outage project with the same methodical approach and level of support, involving detailed coordination, teamwork and an intense focus on safety.

With many nuclear power plants designed to operate for 30 to 40 years there is, quite naturally, an ongoing program of component renewal and replacement. Each of these plants was fitted with the latest technology at the time of construction and was not necessarily designed with outages in mind.

In many cases, nuclear plant infrastructure does not enable swift and easy change-out of outsized key components such as steam generators and reactor vessels. Adding to outage complexity is the fact that multiple parties are often working simultaneously on-site.

Based on our long experience providing outage services, Mammoet has developed an optimal method of executing these operations smoothly, safely and cost effectively. We provide a comprehensive approach that includes the heavy lifting of the components along with the safe coordination of subcontractors’ activities.

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We know that downtime is hugely costly to a nuclear power plant owner, so we provide opportunities to use the best that current innovative heavy lifting and transport technology can offer to support new possibilities for a swifter turnaround.

Planning is the key

By working with Mammoet’s engineering experts at the very beginning of mechanical engineering maintenance projects, nuclear plant owners can unlock financial and operational advantages. It makes a significant difference in the efficiency of these projects when engineered heavy lifting and transport activities are integrated from the beginning. They define the critical path of a maintenance operation and therefore the actual downtime.

When a client consults with us on a plan, we look at factors such as the internal layout and installations that define how much room there is to maneuver, what the capacity is for lifting and any potential complications along the route to and from site. Integrating the mechanical engineering plan with a detailed logistics plan, encompassing all lifting, transport and change-out of the large key components, means an unbroken chain of activities, clear responsibilities and a smoother, more cost effective outage. 

Michel Bunnik

Unique outage concept

Our state-of the-art equipment and deep level of experience mean that Mammoet offers possibilities and smart approaches that help optimize processes and deliver more efficient turnarounds.

We engineer solutions for facility-specific issues regarding difficult-to-reach locations, confined spaces and transportability in general. Our engineers have developed a unique outage concept that is based on the detailed pre-engineering of all heavy lifting and transport work.

The Mammoet concept also optimizes the planning and coordination of different maintenance activities performed by different parties on nuclear plant sites.

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Current heavy lifting and transport technology offers many opportunities to minimize downtime in the safest of ways that were not envisaged at the time when many nuclear plants were designed.

This results in greater cost-effectiveness, as the overall operation becomes more streamlined and equipment is better utilized. Mammoet’s detailed approach has a positive and significant effect on total downtime in nuclear plant outage projects and on associated costs.

For many of our customers in the nuclear sector, this approach has become the preferred standard for shutdown management and is now even used across some other industries.

Michel Bunnik is Mammoet’s Sales Director for the Middle East. Since 2000, he has been involved in most of the nuclear construction, outage and decommissioning projects that Mammoet has executed. 

Michel Bunnik

Nuclear plant decommissioning solutions

Excellent logistics are key in any nuclear decommissioning strategy to ensure compliance with safety regulations and cost effectiveness.

Working with an expert in engineered heavy lifting and transport like Mammoet makes it possible for our clients to identify opportunities for the safer and more efficient decommissioning of their nuclear power plants.

Customers can access our worldwide network of experienced professionals and services, gleaned from our years of gathering knowledge and techniques from the construction, upgrading and decommissioning projects we have worked on.

For example, working in awkward, narrow spaces in a unique French mountain location challenged Mammoet’s engineers to design and build a range of bespoke equipment specifically for this job. In common with many other nuclear power facilities of a similar age, this one had not been designed with efficient decommissioning in mind.

Mammoet’s team of professionals was called on to find ways of transporting 120-ton units through difficult spaces without creating the risk of damage or contamination. In the process, they innovated a new tilting device for heavy lifting cranes that has been used on many further projects.

There are two pivotal factors in all our projects, whether at the beginning, middle or end of a nuclear power plant’s lifespan.

The first is that any activity is preceded by a detailed plan, a plan that supports the smooth running of a cost-effective and timely delivery. The second factor is location - whether by the coast, in a desert, inside a mountain or in an urban setting - having sustainable and accessible infrastructure and equipment that can reach the nuclear facility is key. Once decommissioned, the various oversized and heavy parts must be removed and transported to their final destinations.

Darren Watson

Tailor-made solutions in nuclear decommissioning

Over the decades, Mammoet has been involved in the construction and decommissioning of virtually every type of nuclear installation. Every decommissioning project is unique and they often call for tailor-made solutions that challenge our engineers’ skills and innovation. As in all our activities, nuclear decommissioning projects start with a detailed logistics plan in which we have engineered the best technical approach, the route planning and all the essential safety elements of the project.

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Our experience in nuclear plant construction and maintenance enables us to provide specialist insight backed by years of experience within decommissioning itself. We also have the best, most modern equipment to do the job, whether accessed by land or sea. Our fleet can perform the activities required for each decommissioning project using, for example, cranes and other lifting devices such as gantries and pushup systems. Our skilled operators use these advanced machines to safely detach and remove the obsolete part of the installation.

Mammoet’s equipment and our professionals’ level of expertise form a strong combination for nuclear power plant decommissioning. It is this combination that enables us to provide solutions for any situation and then successfully deliver them — while ensuring safety, cost-effectiveness and as little environmental impact as possible.

Sales Director for the UK, Darren Watson, has been with Mammoet since 2009, providing commercial support to nuclear projects within the UK. Darren works with an experienced project sales team, which has been involved in many nuclear projects including the Evaporator D module installation, decommissioning of the world’s first nuclear power station (Calder Hall) and the topping and tailing of a 100-ton stack removal at Sellafield. 

Darren Watson