SBRI Funding Competition: Integrated Innovation for Nuclear Decommissioning

The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) and Innovate UK are to invest up to £3 million working collaboratively with Sellafield Ltd as an end user. The aim is to create an opportunity for organisations to develop and demonstrate integrated innovative technologies for decommissioning.

Projects should integrate technologies 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

Further information can be found here:

KTN is organising a series of events and registration is open now. The event in Bristol happens on 9th March and you can register your place for free.


Steve Vick International isolate four primary circuit feeder pipes from the SGHWR at Winfrith

Project report

Location: Winfrith

Project: Isolation of four Primary Circuit Feeder Pipes from the Steam Generating Heavy Water Reactor

Contractor: Magnox Limited (previously RSRL)

Equipment: Steve Vick International FOAMBAGS™, umbilical filling system, CCTV and closed cell polyurethane foam

Steve Vick International (SVI) has recently completed a project for Magnox Ltd. The project required SVI to design, test and install FOAMBAGS™ into four Primary Circuit Feeder Pipes attached to the Steam Generating Heavy Water Reactor (SGHWR) at Winfrith.
The operation was undertaken as part of a programme to decommission the cylindrical reactor (SGHWR) which comprises 100 channel tubes beneath, some of which contain Intermediate Level Waste (ILW). Decommissioning the core involves elevating it which in turn presents the risk of ILW falling through the channel tubes. In most instances the ILW is too large to fall out; however, two types of ILW were small enough to fall through four of the channel tubes: the Pencil Loops (50kg) and Interstitial Shield Plugs (10kg).

To remove this risk, preparation work beneath the core was required and it was decided that the safest method was to use a physical plug to prevent any ILW or other debris falling out and through the four channel tubes. Magnox decided that the best and safest option for a physical plug was the SVI FOAMBAG™ system.

Magnox chose to use SVI’s expertise and the FOAMBAG™ system following the company’s successful record of providing similar solutions previously at Winfrith, as well as at Chapelcross, Harwell and Sellafield.

The FOAMBAG™ system was first developed by SVI in the 1980s forflowstopping underground pipes in the safety critical gas distribution industry. For the past 20 years, the company has been working in the nuclear decommissioning and emergency repair sector where FOAMBAG™ technology has proved to be extremely effective in encapsulating and locking down loose contamination.

Post event report: SMRs information lunch

On Wednesday, 30th November about 30 people gathered at Leigh Court to hear updates from experts on SMRs and their deployment in the UK.

This event was designed to be an introduction to SMRs for those who haven't been involved with the Government's on-going competition. It also provided a view of one of the reactor technologies that is currently being considered, to give attendees insight into the timelines, opportunities and challenges that are part of SMR deployment.

If this is a topic that is of interest, the Nuclear Industry Association are running an in-depth conference on SMRs on 27th February. Registration for the event is now open and you can book on their web site.

See links to the information presentations below:

SMR Overview - Ian Truman, Burges Salmon

Why SMRs? Where Next? A Personal View - Richard Beake, Atkins

SMR Deployment Enablers - Kris MacCrory, DAS

The Business Case for the Integral Molton Salt Reactor - Louis Plowden-Wardlaw, Terrestrial Energy

SMRs - A Research and Innovation Perspective - Jamie Townes, SW Nuclear Hub

For more information on this event or any others, please contact us.


Small Businesses Research Initiative (SBRI) funding competition: advanced nuclear manufacturing and materials

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy is to invest up to £5 million in projects to develop innovative manufacturing and materials technologies for the civil nuclear sector.

The aim of this competition is to establish an innovative R&D base for materials and manufacturing that will support a strong UK nuclear supply chain.

Proposals should address one of the following themes:

  • Nuclear structural materials (£1.5 million);
  • Mechanisation and automation of component manufacture (£1.9 million);
  • Large scale component manufacture and assembly (£1.1 million);
  • Pre-fabricated module development and verification (£200,000); and
  • Design codes and standards (£300,000).

The competition opened on 7 November, registration must be completed by 11 January and applications submitted by 18 January 2017. Register your interest on the competition web site.