Cleaning up the nuclear research site poses challenges involving both high radiation and contamination, and innovative solutions are required to access remote cells, ducts and vessels for inspection, characterisation, size reduction and material handling.
Game Changers is an innovation programme that identifies and develops cutting-edge technologies that could provide significant advances in nuclear science and engineering. Challenges are open to anyone from any sector who can offer a viable solution, from SMEs to universities and large corporate organisations. Solutions could be found in technologies already used in other sectors (such as oil and gas or bio-engineering) which could be developed for use in the nuclear industry. The programme is delivered by the National Nuclear Laboratory and FIS360, specialists in supporting innovative technologies from concept through to commercial production.
Spearheading the innovation approach on the site, Dounreay’s Gordon Tait said:
Dounreay and Sellafield share similar decommissioning challenges, dating from their common historic origins. Joining forces to solve them makes perfect sense for the sites, the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority and the taxpayer.
Two new challenges are open to any organisation from any sector that believes it may have transferrable technology that could help. One seeks improved technology for the removal of radiologically contaminated concrete from walls and floors of fuel ponds; the other is for technology that will improve organic residue detection in pipes and vessels.
Dounreay is Scotland’s largest nuclear closure project and the centre of the UK’s fast reactor research and development. It is being decommissioned by Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd on behalf of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority.