Competition for innovative nuclear decommissioning technologies launched

The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA), Sellafield Ltd and Innovate UK are to invest up to £3 million in projects that will integrate and demonstrate flexible innovative technologies for the nuclear decommissioning sector.

The estimated cost of decommissioning the site is £85 billion, and innovation has a significant role to play in enabling safer, faster and cheaper solutions.

The competition is open to organisations of any size working alone or with partners, that can demonstrate a route to market for their idea. Projects should integrate technologies into a single platform, or a small number of platforms, and aim to:

  • minimise human intervention
  • increase productivity
  • optimise waste treatment, packing and routing

Examples of technologies that could be part of projects include:

  • robotics and autonomous systems
  • sensors and detectors
  • imaging
  • artificial intelligence
  • virtual reality
  • digital and ICT
  • big data
  • modelling and simulation

The competition will run in 2 phases from 30 January to 19 April 2017 and will award 100% funded development contracts. Phase 1 will be for the production of detailed technology plans and business cases and is open to projects of up to £50,000 and lasting no longer than three months. The best ideas could attract funding in the second phase to develop a demonstration project. This phase can have projects up to £1.5million and must be completed by September 2019.

For further information on the competition visit https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/sbri-funding-competition-integrated-innovation-for-nuclear-decommissioning which also contains details of Innovate UK’s information day on the competition on 14 February 2017 in London.