Got an innovative idea to sort radioactive nuclear waste?

Potential technologies include robotics, sensors, artificial intelligence and autonomous systems

Companies are being invited to come up with innovative ideas and approaches to sort and segregate radioactive waste at some of the oldest nuclear sites in the UK.

The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) – including Sellafield Ltd and Magnox Ltd – has teamed up with Innovate UK to launch the £3.9 million Sort and Segregate Nuclear Waste competition, which opens for applications from 17th August 2020.

Some of the potential technologies that can be used at Sellafield and several Magnox nuclear reactor sites include robotics, sensors, artificial intelligence (AI) and autonomous systems.

Organisations don’t have to be from a nuclear background and can team up to form a consortia and develop a plan to address the challenge.

A number of consortia will be chosen to carry out a three-month feasibility study into their idea, for which they will receive up to £50,000 each.

The best submissions will then be granted up to £750,000 to move towards the design and build phase, which can last up to 15 months.

Sara Huntingdon, NDA’s Head of Innovation said: “It’s been a challenging time for businesses in recent months. We hope this competition will excite organisations – inspiring them to bring forward ideas which could help transform our work in the nuclear sector.

“Dealing with waste is a huge ongoing challenge for us as we progress our mission to decommission nuclear sites. We want people to be creative and help us develop new and innovative solutions. We welcome technologies from all sectors – organisations don’t have to have nuclear experience – just great ideas and a passion for turning those into a reality.”

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