Funding: CINDe–NNL–Sellafield Ltd, £50k, 2017–2021
Investigators: Professor C J Taylor (PI), Dr S Monk, Dr D Cheneler
Research student: Tomáš Fried
This project is sponsored by the Centre for Innovative Nuclear Decommissioning Engineering (CINDe). The Centre is a partnership between Manchester, Lancaster, Liverpool and Cumbria Universities, together with Sellafield Ltd and the National Nuclear Laboratory. Its mission is to innovate and deliver future engineering leaders, supporting the UK’s nuclear decommissioning programme in west Cumbria.
Within CINDe, this Lancaster University Engineering Department project involves the design and development of a robotic system for investigating the mechanical properties of sludge in-situ within storage tanks on the Sellafield site. Due to the highly active nature of the expected material, sophisticated electrical solutions are unlikely to survive long enough to be useful. Instead, mechanical interrogative techniques will be investigated wherever possible. For the same reasons, a ‘deploy and forget’ strategy will be considered for the disposal of the device itself. Initially, this robotic design will be tested within the non-active rig at the NNL’s Workington site, followed by testing within a hard radiological environment.