A range of innovative robotic systems will be on display at an event in Cumbria next month as an £8.5 million competition moves to the next stage. The showcase event, at Energus in Workington on 12 November, will feature the 5 projects that have been under way for 2 years as part of the Integrated Innovation in Nuclear Decommissioning competition, which is aimed at finding new ways to tackle some of Sellafield’s toughest radioactive challenges. The initiative is funded jointly by the NDA, government agency Innovate UK and BEIS, while Sellafield is providing facilities for potentially demonstrating up to two of the integrated solutions. These solutions may be deployed to help decommission the site’s reprocessing plants, where radioactivity levels are so high that new ways to carry out the work remotely will be needed. Combining robotics with virtual reality, 3D imaging, autonomous navigation and more, the new scaleable and transferable solutions will be required to access spaces that have been sealed for years. Once inside, they will need to characterise the challenge, including measuring and visualising the radioactivity, before cutting up the contents (including large vessels and many miles of pipework), segregating waste, then removing it for treatment and safe storage.
NDA 29th Oct 2019 read more »