Work begins on care facility
By BELINDA SCOTT
PILE driving began yesterday on the first of 35 piles being installed at Coffs Harbour's new cancer care facility at the Coffs Harbour health Campus.
The piles will support the massive weight of the concrete bunkers being built to house the centre's eventual two linear accelerators.
Pile driving will be completed within two weeks.
The project manager for the North Coast Integrated Cancer Care Service project, Kevin Plummer, said a total of 1200 cubic metres (3000 tonnes) of special low-heat, low-shrinkage concrete would be needed to build the bunkers, which will have walls from 800mm-1200mm thick to contain the radioactivity from the linear accelerators.
"This is the main event in this building in terms of technical complexity," Mr Plum-mer said.
"It's not often you get to built a nuclear structure in a regional area."
He said it would take about 13 weeks to build the two 12mx12m concrete bunkers, which will have six-metre high external walls and four-metre internal walls.
Mr Plummer said construction of the bunkers would allow the installation of the first linear accelerator, but the precise calibration required before the machine is operational would not be carried out until after construction of the building was complete.