Exporting Expertise to the East

Britain’s nuclear decommissioning sector is one of the most developed in the world, with complex clean-up programmes underway at 17 sites, including Sellafield, the country’s largest.

Competition is driving innovation and efficiency in the development of products and services – and creating a platform for companies like Cavendish Nuclear to reach out internationally to emerging decommissioning markets.

Britain’s largest nuclear services company believes it can help countries like Japan find solutions to their own clean-up needs.

Mark Rouse, President of Cavendish Nuclear Japan explained;

“Clean-up and decommissioning is an increasingly important aspect of the nuclear industry in Japan following the events at Fukushima”.

explained Mark Rouse, President of Cavendish Nuclear Japan.

“Many of their challenges are very similar to those faced by the UK. The decommissioning supply chain here is now among the most mature in the world, working on some of the most complex projects.

Cavendish Nuclear has shown it can deliver nuclear clean-up safer, faster and at lower cost. Now we want to help countries like Japan do the same.”

Cavendish Nuclear opened its Tokyo office in 2018 to build on existing and historical relationships with customers in Japan.

The country’s first commercial nuclear power station at Tokai was built to the British Magnox design. Cavendish Nuclear was the designer and original equipment manufacturer (OEM) of the Tokai plant and today is the lead partner that is decommissioning 10 of Britain’s Magnox reactor sites.

At Dounreay, where fast reactors cooled by liquid metal and fuel reprocessing plants are in advanced stages of their decommissioning, Cavendish Nuclear leads the site consortium. Dounreay hosts regular delegations from Japan looking to learn about the decommissioning of their own fast reactor at Monju.

Cavendish Nuclear is a major supplier to Sellafield and has delivered numerous high hazard projects integrating state of the art radiological products with commercial off the shelf technology and remotely operated tooling to create effective bespoke solutions.

Mike Goswell

Mike Goswell lived in Japan for 14 years, working in the education and aviation sectors and becoming fluent in Japanese. After a spell back in the UK with Babcock International Group, he returned to Japan to lead Cavendish Nuclear’s presence there.

“Our track record is in the delivery of projects which have a strong similarity with those Japan is about to embark on,” he explained.
“Our capability in all aspects of nuclear facility design, maintenance, support and decommissioning, undertaken in the UK and elsewhere, differentiates us. This experience and knowledge is directly relevant to the current challenges facing our Japanese customers.
“I am proud to be representing a UK company establishing a business here that is aligned to local business practices. It demonstrates to our Japanese customers that we can be trusted to work with and that we are committed to supporting them.”

Cavendish Nuclear, working with OC Robotics and the wider Babcock International Group, is developing the next generation of world-leading robotic technology to deliver safer, faster and more cost-effective decommissioning of one of the world’s most hazardous facilities

The company is merging its award-winning radiological mapping technology with state-of-the-art virtual reality and robotics to create a new, remotely-operated platform capable of taking apart the soon-to-be-redundant reprocessing plants at Sellafield

Sellafield Ltd is looking for new technology to help it decommission the site’s nuclear fuel reprocessing complex.

Cavendish Nuclear partnered with OC Robotics and Babcock International Group to develop a remotely-operated platform that integrates the company’s own radiological mapping technology with laser-snake robotics and virtual reality capabilities from other industry.

The result is the Sellafield In-Cell Decommissioning System (SIDS), backed by £1.5m of R & D funding from the UK Government.

“We are combining technologies developed across different sectors of industry to deliver a breakthrough in the reduction of risks to workers, increased productivity, more efficient management of waste, reduced timescales and lower overall costs,” explained Cavendish Nuclear’s head of innovation and technology Tony Burnett.

The combination of radiation mapping and virtual reality simulation allows operators to programme the sequence of robotic cutting in a way that synchronises with the site’s waste routes.