‘Sort and Segregate Nuclear Waste’ UK Competition Launched

A £3.9 million competition launched by The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority and Innovate UK aims to find new ways to deal with radioactive waste at some of the UK’s oldest nuclear sites.

Potential technologies that entrants could use include: autonomous systems, robotics, sensors and artificial intelligence.

The competition is open to any interested organisations, not necessarily from a nuclear background. They then form associations with each other and develop a plan to address the challenge.

There is work involved at Sellafield and several Magnox sites, which contain the UK’s first generation of nuclear reactor.

This is the second competition designed to encourage integrated innovation in nuclear decommissioning. The first, in 2017, was to find solutions to help decommission highly radioactive facilities at Sellafield.

Fifteen submissions were identified in phase one as having potential. Five then went forward to develop their ideas further in phase two. Two winning consortia were then chosen to turn their ideas into reality.

This latest competition closes on November 11, 2020. There is a rigorous assessment process. After that, a number of consortia will be chosen in February 2021 to carry out a 3 month feasibility study into their idea. They will each be awarded up to £60,000 for this.

The best submissions will then be given up to £900,000 to go forward to the design and build phase of the project. This can last up to 15 months.

Further competition details can be found by clicking here.

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