Could your technology protect nuclear decommissioning operators?

Posted on: 25/04/2018

There is up to £850,000 of funding available from Sellafield Limited working in partnership with Innovate UK via a small business research initiative.

There is up to £850,000 of funding available from Sellafield Limited working in partnership with Innovate UK via a small business research initiative (SBRI) investing in innovative projects that will better equip and support nuclear decommissioning operators working in hazardous environments.

The decommissioning of redundant nuclear facilities is a major challenge for the nuclear industry. While every effort is made to decommission remotely, there is still a need for operators to enter hazardous environments. The aim of this competition is to enable these operators to carry out their tasks safer, quicker and more cost-effectively, while being more comfortable in their working environment.

In conjunction with this competitions KTN will be hosting a series of briefing events. Where we will be seeking disruptive solutions; so this will be a great opportunity to bring ideas together from a wide range of sectors, from creative industries to space applications.

We will be looking for proposals that integrate technologies and will improve such things as:

  • personal safety
  • communication
  • hazard monitoring and protection
  • physiological effects
  • comfort and ergonomics
  • dexterity
  • health monitoring
  • reusability and minimising waste
  • capability

We are particularly encouraging applications that:

  • bring together organisations from outside the nuclear sector that can create unique solutions to the challenge
  • are multi-disciplinary and involve technology transfer
  • adopt a systems based approach to solving the challenge
  • provide solutions that are adaptable, scalable and useable in a range of facilities and environments.


To be in scope your innovation needs to achieve more than one of the following objectives that will lead to safer, faster, and cheaper solutions:

  1. Optimise activities to reduce the time and complexity of tasks before entering a radioactive area such as hazard identification and location and task scheduling.
  2. Protect the operator from the radiological and conventional hazards present, like exposure to radiation and contamination, physical injury and heat stress (for more detail, see the tender document).
  3. Improve the working experience and productivity of the operator by providing such things as:
    – enhancement of senses like hearing, touch and vision
    – improved communications
    – more comfortable operating conditions such as temperature and humidity
    – greater capability (strength, dexterity, flexibility)
    – reduced risk to environmental hazards, both nuclear and conventional
    – better real-time information to the operator and supervisor such as environment, task progress and operator health
  4. Provide a solution that reduces waste through either better disposal, packaging, reuse or recycling.
  5. Minimise the amount of time and effort required from support teams.

To find out more about this funding opportunity and find potential collaborators register for one of the SBRI: Protecting Nuclear Decommissioning Operators Brokerage Events where we will be seeking to bring solutions together from a wide range of sectors, from creative industries to space applications.

Find out more about the UK wide events by clicking on the links below
Penrith – 2nd May
Birmingham – 10th May


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