Kurion acquires remote nuclear handling company Oxford Technologies

American company specialising in protecting people and the environment from nuclear and hazardous materials has acquired Oxford Technologies in order to complement and enhance its business. Oxford Technologies have strong expertise in robotic and remote handling systems in the UK and have worked on many nuclear sites including Sellafield and Dounreay. The acquisition provides complementary capabilities, a European base of operations and an entryway into new markets for Kurion.

The transaction expands Kurion’s existing Robotic Systems and Services team, which has delivered and designed over 180 systems for projects around the world, including the technology used to investigate a damaged reactor at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in Japan. Kurion also designed systems to deliver safe access to hazardous material and environments at multiple sites worldwide, including Hanford in the U.S. and Sellafield in the UK.

Talking about the deal Kurion’s Chief Executive William Gallo said, “Oxford Technologies is the perfect complement to Kurion’s robotics team. Their suite of technologies, client base and team of more than 60 highly skilled engineers and project managers will augment the Kurion team and provide an established base of operations for our continued expansion in Europe. The synergy of the two companies will accelerate Kurion’s growth.”

Oxford Technologies specialises in full life-cycle remote handling systems, complex plant assembly, and radiation-hardened systems. The company also delivers remote handling systems for the operation and maintenance of fusion reactors, including ITER. The company recently won the prestigious Minister’s Award from the UK Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) for Oxford’s work at Dounreay; the award recognizes the value, flexibility and innovation that small and medium sized enterprises bring to the NDA’s mission.

For Oxford Technologies Dr. Alan Rolfe, co-founder and Managing Director, said, “Kurion shares Oxford Technologies’ mission to take on the toughest remote handling problems and develop technical solutions to support safe decommissioning and energy innovation. By joining Kurion, Oxford Technologies will access new markets and more quickly realise the firm’s potential.”

Dr. Rolfe will retire following the acquisition but will remain available as a consultant to the company. Prior to founding Oxford Technologies in 2000, Dr. Rolfe managed the remote handling team at the JET fusion reactor for more than 20 years.

As a result of the acquisition, Matthew Cole, Director of Kurion’s Robotic Systems and Services business unit, relocates to the UK to oversee the company’s global remote systems operations. Additionally, Bernhard Haist, formerly the Engineering Director is now Director for Oxford Technologies team in the UK, reporting to Cole.

Cole commented, “The Oxford Technologies team is an incredible group of robotic and remote systems experts with a philosophy and vision similar to Kurion’s own. This combination represents the strongest robotic and remote systems services team anywhere in the world.”

This acquisition follows the recent announcement from Kurion and the UK National Nuclear Laboratory that they had completed cold commissioning of the GeoMelt® In-Container Vitrification system that is headed for the Sellafield Central Laboratory.