News

First nuclear decommissioning robot contract awarded

21 April 2021

The first nuclear robotics contract has been awarded by the UK-Japan alliance on nuclear decommissioning.

The UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) has awarded Veolia Nuclear Solutions (UK) and Wälischmiller Engineering GmbH separate contracts totalling £3m to supply robotic manipulator arms to its Remote Applications in Challenging Environments (RACE) facility near Oxford.

Veolia Nuclear Solutions and Wälischmiller Engineering will each provide a twin-arm haptic manipulator – a form of kinaesthetic communications technology, complete with electrical and control systems, to deliver key aspects of the LongOps project. The manipulators will also be used by UKAEA to train operators that are based at both Sellafield and Fukushima.

The contract stems from the £12m UK-Japanese LongOps robotics deal for fusion energy and nuclear decommissioning project, which was announced in January (https://www.bimplus.co.uk/news/uk-japan-alliance-develop-nuclear-decommissioning-/). LongOps will support the delivery of faster and safer decommissioning at the Tokyo Electric Power Company’s Fukushima Dai-ichi site in Japan and at Sellafield in the UK.