Game Changers challenge: Wireless, long-term environmental monitoring of nuclear stores
Sellafield Ltd are seeking remote monitoring devices, which must operate for 30+ years and transmit data through a concrete wall, for nuclear material stores.
Feasibility funding of up to £10,000 for initial exploration of ideas (100% funded). Proof of Concept (PoC) funding is awarded on a match‐funded basis (up to 70% funded for businesses, can be 100% for non-profits), generally £30k-£60k for a 6-12 months project.
Innovate UK KTN is supporting FIS360 in the promotion of the Game Changers innovation programme, which finds solutions for complex nuclear industry challenges. In this challenge, Sellafield Ltd are looking for remote monitoring devices for nuclear material stores.
Sellafield Ltd is responsible for the safe, long-term storage of Special Nuclear Materials (SNM), which are the result of spent nuclear fuel reprocessing. Environmental monitoring of the SNM package stores is necessary to demonstrate that the packages remain in a stable environment. Sellafield Ltd would like to explore the installation of sensors within an empty SNM package that can regularly wirelessly transmit data about the environment within the SNM stores.
The solution must be able to transmit data from inside the cell through the concrete cell wall to a receiver at the charge face, then onto the control room. Sellafield are seeking a proof of concept within 12 – 18 months, and a deployable solution by 2026.
Sellafield Ltd are seeking remote monitoring devices that can:
- Provide regular cell environmental data remotely (temperature, humidity and salinity)
- Provide an alert if alpha radiation levels reach a threshold value
- Be able to transmit measured environmental data from inside the cell through the concrete cell wall to a receiver at the charge face, where it will be transmitted by Wi-Fi or existing plant IT infrastructure to a standalone laptop
- Function within a modified dummy package in SNM package stores, which is a radioactive environment
- Operate for 30+ years
In addition to the monitoring device, the solution should consider how the signal will be transmitted from the outside of the cell to the control room several tens of metres through the building fabric. There are pre-existing cables that run up to the control room. The data will be managed through interaction with a user interface that would enable operators to visualise data trends, although this is not an expected output of any feasibility study.
Alternative methods of measuring environmental conditions will be considered a bonus.
Briefing and further information
A challenge webinar will take place at 10:30am on 15th November 2023 where delegates will have the chance to hear directly from the challenge owners and ask any questions. Attendance is free and registration is via Eventbrite.
The deadline for applications for this challenge is 6pm on Wednesday 29th November 2023.
Eligibility: Any organisation of any size can apply for funding through Game Changers including SMEs, Higher Education Institutions, Research and Technology Organisations and public bodies. Companies who apply for funding must be registered with Companies House. International organisations can also apply for funding. Certain exemptions may apply depending on the nature of the challenge.
More information and a detailed challenge statement can be found on the Game Changers website at the link below.