Robots to dismantle nuclear power stations

The £12 million-project will see long-reach robotic arms deliver faster and safer decommissioning of reactors in Japan and the UK

Robots could be used to help decommission nuclear power stations. The UK and Japan have teamed up to work on safer automated ways to deal with nuclear waste.

The £12 million-project, named ‘LongOps’, aims to use long-reach robotic arms for faster and safer decommissioning of reactors in Fukushima, Japan and at Sellafield.

The decommissioning of nuclear facilities is considered a complex large-scale project that takes a long time to achieve in a safe way.

The research collaboration will last four years and will be funded by UK Research and Innovation, the UK’s Nuclear Decommissioning Authority and Japan’s Tokyo Electric Power Company.

Amanda Solloway, UK Minister for Science, Research and Innovation, said: “To unlock the amazing potential of nuclear power, it’s critical that the UK works hand in hand with international partners to safely decommission nuclear sites while backing pioneering research into fusion, which could offer a limitless source of clean energy.

“This innovative research alliance with Japan will ensure we share our expertise in robotics to address complex challenges such as nuclear decommissioning while helping to secure highly skilled jobs across the country as we build back better from the pandemic.”

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