After the nuclear disaster at Fukushima Daiichi in March 2011, the regulator mandated precautions that needed to be put in place. All nuclear power plants in France required attention to prevent an occurrence at the sites following any seismic activity.
EDF Energy issued a tender for companies to submit their passive flood protection solutions for seismic testing, prior to possible selection in a future tender, to protect all 19 sites in France.
Aquobex assessed their needs and proposed the FloodBreak barrier. As the only passive barrier with over 300 installations, it has a 100% successful deployment rate in real life flood conditions. The barrier was subjected to extensive seismic testing at the University of Bristol and successfully attained a certificate for use in earthquake zones up to a Richter scale 5.
As well as proving itself to be earthquake resistant, the FloodBreak barrier also had to have a leakage rate of less than 10 litres per metre per hour, which it successfully achieved and a certified vehicle load rating of 15 tonnes. EDF duly qualified the FloodBreak system and approved it for use at its critical sites alongside one other (German-sourced) product.
Aquobex was engaged by the main contractor, Spie Batignolles, and commenced with the supply of 100 barriers, totalling 352m of barriers across 6 sites to date. These are all installed with 13 further sites scheduled for 2016-18.
FloodBreak is very well positioned to address all barrier height and length requirements because unlike vertically-rising barriers, which often conflict with underground services, FloodBreak only requires a 300mm excavation depth to install the base pan. Heights and widths are then unlimited as the barrier rises in a single piece on the incoming flood waters.
With its proven ability to operate after an earthquake, its passive operation and long service life, FloodBreak is the obvious barrier of choice for many critical infrastructure sites – especially those at remote locations where manpower is limited or out of reach.