Sort and segregate nuclear waste

Posted on: 28/07/2020

The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, in partnership with Innovate UK, is delivering an SBRI competition to fund innovative ideas that will lead to cheaper, safer and faster ways of sorting and segregating radioactive waste. Successful applicants will receive 100% funding to develop and demonstrate their technologies.


The competition is in 2 phases:

  • Phase 1 – a total of £600,000 (inc VAT) is available, with individual contracts worth up to £60,000 (inc VAT) over 3 months, being awarded to the best applications to deliver a technical feasibility study.
  • Phase 2 – a total of £3.3m (inc VAT) is available, with individual contracts worth up to £900,000 (inc VAT) over 15 months to deliver a full-scale prototype demonstrator.

The initial competition is for phase 1 only.


The funders are looking for the development of an integrated and autonomous system that can do all of the following:

  • Detect the type and intensity of the radioactivity present using existing technology
  • Determine the composition, size, shape, and surface area of the material
  • Sort and segregate the waste by radioactive classification and material type
  • Remotely move the waste from a specific area and then pack it into an appropriate container
  • Collect and analyse data and images, and retain accurate records

Applications can be led by any organisation, of any size and from any sector. The funders are keen to encourage technology transfer from other industrial sectors (outside nuclear) that carry out multiple complex automated tasks, rapidly and safely. This might include, for example, food processing, logistics, waste management, high-value manufacturing or medical. They are particularly looking to fund innovative projects that combine existing technologies into a single integrated system.

To see the full scope, key dates and application details, click here.

Briefing event

KTN is running a competition briefing event on 25 August, 14:00-16:00.  To book a place, click here.

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