Dounreay Explores Decommissioning With Robotics Experts
12th August 2020
Dounreay is exploring ways of decommissioning with the help of robotics experts.
The nuclear site at Dounreay, which was the centre of the UK's research into fast reactor technology in the last century, is being cleaned up and taken apart. The most contaminated areas of the site are found in the Fuel Cycle Area (FCA) facilities, which examined and reprocessed spent nuclear fuel. The nature of the facilities means that the most contaminated areas are generally also the most inaccessible.
The site is collaborating with the Robotics and Artificial Intelligence in Nuclear (RAIN) Hub, a consortium of universities led by the University of Manchester, to explore ways to overcome some of these challenges.
A group of scientists from RAIN carried out trials earlier this year in the FCA laboratories of a small remotely operated vehicle (ROV) equipped with sensors, cameras and a manipulator ‘arm', which provided useful information.
Jason Simpson, project manager for the decommissioning of the laboratories, said:
The legacy of the operations in our labs is that we have areas of contamination that are very radioactive and difficult to access using our normal procedures. These decommissioning challenges could be addressed using robotics and we are pleased to be working with the RAIN Hub to find solutions.
A survey of the under-floor drains in the laboratories is planned for later in the year.
PHOTO - Representatives from RAIN with Jason Simpson
Dounreay has awarded a major contract as the world's deepest nuclear clean-up job gets underway. Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd (DSRL), on behalf of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, awarded the £7.5 million contract for "advanced transition works" at the 65 metre deep shaft and silo to Nuvia and its partner Graham Construction, through the site's decommissioning framework following a competitive tendering process.
The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) has today launched a year-long partnership aimed at inspiring and supporting young people in the nuclear industry. Chief Executive David Peattie announced the NDA's partnership with the Nuclear Institute's Young Generation Network (YGN) today at a special webinar for young professionals.
The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority has today published its fourth Draft Strategy and begun a 12-week public consultation. The NDA regularly reviews its Strategy to ensure it has the right approach to decommissioning its 17 nuclear sites and benefits from the latest learning, best practice and can continue to deliver value for the taxpayer.
The updates for 2020 include - 17 August 2020 Attachment updated - Sandside beach near Dounreay particle finds 17 April 2020 Attachments updated: Dounreay foreshore particle finds Sandside near Dounreay particle finds 18 March 2020 Dounreay Foreshore particle finds document updated. 7 February 2020 Attachment updates - Dounreay foreshore particles finds and Sandside beach near Dounreay particles finds.
DSRL and LLWR to become NDA subsidiaries. The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) has announced that Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd (DSRL) and LLW Repository Ltd (LLWR) will become wholly owned subsidiaries of the NDA next year.
Two officers based at Dounreay received prestigious awards from Chief Constable Simon Chesterman this week in recognition of their long service and good conduct. Supt Andy Peden, who is Operational Unit Commander (OUC) at Dounreay, received a Certificate of Service, having joined us in 1980.
More than 30 community groups received help from a fund supported by Dounreay and the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority during the COVID-19 crisis. In March 2020, Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd anticipated an upsurge in demand from community organisations for small-scale financial assistance.
A charity which delivers vital medical supplies for the NHS is set to receive £10,000 from Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd (DSRL). The cash will enable Highland and Islands Blood Bikes to establish a permanent presence in Caithness.
Around 80 portable accommodation units deemed surplus to requirements are being removed from the site and transported to England to be used as isolation cubicles in the prison service. Known as Bunkabins, the demountable cabins have been located at the site for the last five years.
Dounreay is working with the community to provide assistance during the coronavirus outbreak. Protecting our site We have reduced operations at the site to a level where we require a minimum number of people to leave their homes each day to keep Dounreay in a safe and secure state.