Nuclear Decommissioning Authority
Satellites set to help clean up nuclear sites
- Also published by:
- WiredGov Newswire (news from other organisations)
The NDA is collaborating with the UK Space Agency (UKSA) to explore whether data collected by satellites orbiting the earth could be turned into useful insights for the nuclear clean-up mission.
The Nuclear Decommissioning Space Data Challenge was launched by the government-funded UK Space Agency on Friday, 1 November, and is aimed at smaller businesses and academic start-ups. On offer is a prize worth £10,000, sponsored by the NDA, to help the winning concept or prototype product on the journey to market reality.
Informal dialogue between the two organisations dates back a number of years, and has focused on raising general awareness of the space sector and how its capabilities, particularly earth observation data, can be used for remote activities such as monitoring ground movement or building inspections.
The NDA’s Head of Innovation Sara Huntingdon, who previously led the government’s Space for Smarter Government Programme, said:
Remote monitoring is just one example of the uses of satellite technology that could benefit the nuclear sector.
There are so many opportunities here which we could explore, and I’m absolutely delighted that the NDA is the very first public sector organisation to collaborate with the UK Space Agency on this challenge.
Proposals must be submitted by 16 December and short-listed applicants will be invited to showcase their ideas in a Dragon’s Den style event at the UK Space Agency’s networking event in London next January, where a panel of judges will select the eventual winner. The prize, a Business Sprint with the Satellite Applications Catapult, consists of specialist space and business development support to help the winner develop their idea further and bring it to closer to market.
As part of the wider collaboration with the UK Space Agency, one of the NDA’s nuclear graduates is currently seconded into the agency to further strengthen the potential for transferring technology from the space sector to nuclear decommissioning. He has been actively engaging the NDA’s Site Licence Companies first-hand to understand their specific challenges and where space applications may have relevance.
NDA Technology and Innovation Director Melanie Brownridge added:
We’re committed to encouraging the development of ideas for decommissioning, and to working with other industrial sectors on the exchange or adaptation of technologies.
We’ve welcomed the UK Space Agency to our NDA supply chain events for the last 2 years, so are really pleased to embark on a more structured collaborative initiative.
The agency’s Space for Smarter Government Programme (SSGP) promotes the use of space-related data and applications within the UK public sector. It is delivered in collaboration with technical experts from one of the government’s 10 Catapult Centres which support growth through technology and innovation. The Satellite Applications Catapult will provide the Business Sprint prize to the winners of this competition from its base in Harwell, Oxfordshire.
NDA Research Manager Rick Short discusses opportunities from satellite-enabled products and services: Read Rick Short’s blog post: Technology that’s out of this world
Latest News from
Nuclear Decommissioning Authority
Jobs boost for Cumbria as 500 nuclear roles to be advertised via new service16/01/2020 11:15:00
A partnership between Sellafield Ltd, Jacobs, and Morgan Sindall is set to deliver job opportunities for people in Cumbria.
How much radioactive waste is there in the UK?13/01/2020 15:38:00
Blog posted by: James Woodfield, 10 January 2020 – Categories: Waste management.
Work begins on second emptying machine at Sellafield waste silo13/01/2020 11:15:00
Britain’s most hazardous nuclear building is now a step closer to being decommissioned.
2019 Inventory of UK Radioactive Waste published13/01/2020 08:12:00
The UK Radioactive Waste Inventory is the latest public record on sources, quantities and properties of radioactive waste and materials in the UK.
Chapelcross and its place in Solway Heritage05/12/2019 12:15:00
This project involved creating a permanent record of the former Chapelcross nuclear power station as an exhibition in the local Devil’s Porridge Museum. The exhibition features Chapelcross employees and its contribution to the Scottish Solway Border communities.
Barrnon and Wood move to next stage of innovation competition27/11/2019 16:24:00
Two consortia, led by Barrnon and Wood, have reached the next round of an innovation competition that could help decommission highly radioactive facilities at Sellafield.
Ruth scoops global award for work on gender inclusion07/11/2019 16:47:00
A Cumbrian communications professional has won an international prize for her work to encourage more females into the nuclear industry.
DRS' Managing Director wins at Women of the Year Awards07/11/2019 12:05:00
Debbie Francis has won the award for ‘demonstrating the courage to challenge and make a real difference in a male-dominated industry’.