Nuclear Decommissioning Authority
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£1.5 million competition seeks innovations to remotely monitor sensitive sites

The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) is looking for organisations to come forward with innovations to enable the remote monitoring of its legacy nuclear sites.

  • The Remote Monitoring of Sensitive Sites: Phase 2 competition is managed by DASA
  • The NDA is making up to £1.5 million of funding available
  • Submissions must be received by midday (GMT) on 5 March 2024.

The Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) recently (12 December 2023) launched Phase 2 of the Remote Monitoring of Sensitive Sites Competition, run on behalf of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA).

Following on from Phase 1, which oversaw £700k in funding allocated between 10 innovative organisations, this competition will see the NDA make up to £1.5 million of funding available, seeking proposals for a complete autonomous security alarm and interdiction network (ASAIN).

The ASAIN concept aims to minimise human error when monitoring secure areas and can autonomously monitor, track and detect security breaches. This keeps human operators out of harm’s way while giving them the information they need to inform their response.

The NDA is responsible for decommissioning the UK’s earliest nuclear sites safely, securely and sustainably.

The estate spans 17 nuclear sites across the UK, made up of around 950 hectares of designated land on which over 800 buildings are located, and security of these sites is paramount.

Innovative solutions are being sought to explore how the estate can be kept secure remotely to help augment existing arrangements, manage risks proportionately and deliver value for money for the taxpayer – with an ambition to look at how the technology could be utilised across other sectors.  

Andrew Gray, the NDA’s Innovation Delivery Manager, recently said:

“Keeping our sites safe and secure is absolutely critical to delivering our mission in line with our regulatory obligations.

“We are continually seeking cutting edge technologies and innovative solutions to enable us to overcome the challenges we face in nuclear decommissioning, and deliver effectively and efficiently for the public.

“We look forward to seeing the concepts that are put forward and exploring how we can share the benefits more widely across the nuclear industry and other sectors.”

The competition will have a 6 month initial development phase followed by a 12 month test and evaluation phase on an NDA site.

Suppliers will be invited to a demonstration event after the 18 month contract is completed, where they will demonstrate their systems to stakeholders from across the Defence and Security and Nuclear Decommissioning communities.

Remote Monitoring of Sensitive Sites: Phase 2

Remote Monitoring of Sensitive Sites: Phase 2 seeks innovative capabilities that can augment traditional high security systems used to protect high security areas (HSA). This Themed Competition aims to develop technologies that can form the basis of an Autonomous Security Alarm and Interdiction Network (ASAIN). The ASAIN should be:

  • easy to deploy and operate
  • able to be integrated with other digital technologies
  • highly autonomous
  • built with an override functionality to allow an operator to control all system assets safely and at will

If you’re interested in joining this Themed Competition, it’s important to familiarize yourself with Phase 1 and previous activities. Take a look at the funded bids in Phase 1 of Remote Monitoring of Sensitive Sites here.

Collaboration is encouraged for this competition, and we will support this through a DASA hosted Collaboration Event and a match-making survey.

Key dates and funding

  • £1.5 million (ex VAT) of funding has been provided by the NDA to fund contracts with a maximum value of £500,000 (ex VAT) each.
  • We anticipate funding 3 to 5 proposals with contract durations no longer than 18 months to deliver stages 1-3.
  • The contracts will aim to start in May 2024 and finish in November 2025
  • A Collaboration Event will be taking place in Southampton on 17 January 2024
  • Pre-bookable 1-2-1 telecom sessions will take place on 24 January 2024

The deadline for submissions is midday (GMT) on 5 March 2024.

Have an innovation? Read the full competition document and submit a proposal

Scope and challenge

This competition seeks innovative solutions to ensure the safety and security of NDA sites, with consideration paid to the delivery in line with the site risk reduction curve during the decommissioning process and delivering value for money.

Currently, NDA sites have high-level security measures in place designed to protect nuclear material (NM) and other Radiological Material (ORM). These current measures are diverse throughout the NDA group and are in line with associated risks. As the NDA’s decommissioning mission evolves, they are seeking more appropriate, efficient and/or cost-effective solutions for future security needs.

Replacement security systems will reduce the need for current measures, whilst also boosting confidence in detecting potential security breaches and enabling swift response.

Learn more in the full competition document and submit a proposal.

Collaboration Event and 1-2-1 sessions

If you are eager to collaborate, DASA and the NDA are hosting an in-person collaboration event on 17 January 2024 in Southampton to support initial conversation.

To express your interest in attending the collaboration event please go the Eventbrite page to register.

We are also providing the opportunity for you to attend a pre-bookable 1-2-1 telecom session on 24 January 2024 for you to ask your questions directly to the project team. Book your place here.

Submit a proposal

Can you help the NDA to achieve a step change improvement in its remote monitoring capabilities? If you have a viable security system that replaces traditional high security systems, DASA would like to hear from you. Read the full competition document and submit a proposal.

Submit a proposal

 

Channel website: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/nuclear-decommissioning-authority

Original article link: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/15-million-competition-seeks-innovations-to-remotely-monitor-sensitive-sites

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