A robot has been sent into Sellafield’s most hazardous nuclear waste store for the first time.
Called ‘Avexis’, it will help dislodge and clear waste from the Magnox Swarf Storage Silo, which was built in the 1960s to store waste from the UK’s earliest nuclear reactors.
The £10,000 remotely operated vehicle, developed by Cumbrian firm Forth Engineering with support from the University of Manchester, can clear away small bits of waste clinging to the silo wall.
Its key feature is its size – it is small enough to fit through spaces of just 150mm.
The company believes the technology can be transferred to other industries like marine and oil and gas.
Rebecca Weston, Strategy and Technical Director at Sellafield said: “The Avexis is a great example of the supply chain helping us reduce the UK’s nuclear hazard faster, cheaper and more safely. It also shows how companies can use Sellafield as a springboard into international export markets.”