The decommissioning and clean-up of the UK's public sector nuclear facilities is a multi-billion pound programme scheduled to last many decades. The programme involves significant and unique technical and engineering challenges. Fundamental and applied research is contributing to the development of the most effective solutions to decommissioning activities that meet the demands of the nuclear industry and regulators.
The commercialisation of research-based solutions to help meet the demands of an expanding global market is estimated to be worth around £250 billion over the next 20 years.
The key themes of the nuclear decommissioning research programme, which links academic strength, key research and development facilities with industry needs, are:
- decommissioning technologies.
- waste, including characterisation of waste inventory and redundant facilities, waste behaviour and treatment.
- contamination, including mechanisms of contamination, decontamination techniques, behaviour of contaminants in the environment.
- robotics, including retrieval and remote operations and sensing.
- sustainability, including policy and practice, and decision making.