The use of drones to carry out building inspections is saving the taxpayer an estimated £100,000 at the Dounreay nuclear site in Caithness. A recent survey suggests more and more construction-related organisations are catching on to the benefits of these camera-equipped remotely operated aircraft. Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd (DSRL), the company in charge of decommissioning the nuclear site, carries out around 50 building inspections each year – helping maintain buildings that play an key role in nuclear decommissioning, clean-up and waste management operations. It was the idea of John Moar, a senior electrical engineer at the site, to look into using drones. Dounreay falls within a strictly enforced air exclusion zone and is protected by armed officers from the Civil Nuclear Constabulary. Mr Moar had to do a Civil Aviation Authority course to secure an exemption from the no-fly zone. The first £6,000 drone paid for itself on its first outing to inspect two 20-metre high ventilation stacks. Previously, this work would have needed scaffolding and a hired mobile platform, costing thousands of pounds a week.
Construction Index 10th Nov 2017 read more »