REACH is a collaboration project between Createc, Viridian Consultants and RACE to demonstrate the remote deployment of nuclear characterisation tools
Deployments of different tools in complex environments is challenging for operators. There is a constant requirement in civil nuclear to characterise the environment in areas where worker access is not possible. Pete Rodgers, Createc’s operations manager, said: “With the REACH project we wanted to create agile robotics and avoid putting humans into these hard-to-reach contaminated areas. Tools often have to pass through small openings to enter cells and glove boxes to determine the source of radiometric dose. In addition, different tools must often be deployed using different deployment mechanisms, taking significant time and effort to swap over. The REACH project aimed to demonstrate how this problem could be solved by remotely deploying tools, such as Createc’s N-Visage® technology and Viridian’s laser sampling tool, ViridiScope, on robots in challenging environments.
Kym Jarvis Viridian’s Managing Director said ‘The REACH project has been a great opportunity to push ViridiScope’s design to the limit and reduce the size of the laser sampling head making it more flexible for deployment in those really hard to reach areas. Interestingly, with our new optical configuration, the performance is even better than with the manually deployed system.
Funded by InnovateUK, the project took place over three years, finishing in April 2020 with a demonstration at the UK Atomic Energy Authority’s (UKAEA) Remote Applications in Challenging Environments (RACE) base at Culham Science Centre, Abingdon, Oxfordshire.Discussions are now taking place with Sellafield Ltd for an active REACH demonstration to take place at Sellafield. As lockdown eases an interim event is also planned, in a non-nuclear environment, at Createc’s headquarters at Cockermouth in Cumbria.
Read the full article on pages 30-31 in the NEI August edition following the link below.