Analytical Services: Novel separation and direct measurement technologies for radionuclides and analytes

As the UK’s largest nuclear site, Sellafield has played a central role in the history of the nuclear industry in the UK. Throughout all operational phases, Sellafield Ltd’s Analytical Services teams have provided essential support to safe operations, waste processing, and hazard/risk reduction activities.

Analytical Services operate in a 70-year-old facility using many analytical protocols, some of which were developed 30 to 40 years ago. Operations in these laboratories are currently being phased out and much of the future work will be performed in the National Nuclear Laboratory Central Lab (NNLCL). The move to the NNLCL creates a great opportunity for new and innovative technologies and techniques to be introduced into the analytical work to improve the efficiency, safety and quality of the analysis. It is vital Analytical Services assess, understand and support the development of new technologies to ensure the potential benefits of the move to updated facilities are achieved.


One of the challenges Analytical Services at Sellafield encounter is the cost and inefficiency of processes and techniques currently used to analyse radionuclides and other analytes. Sellafield Ltd would like to explore new and novel technologies or techniques to improve upon its current practices.

Analytical Services recognise that non-destructive techniques usually require minimal modification for nuclear operations and could deliver quicker and cheaper analysis. The specific areas of interest include:

  • Direct measurement technologies of liquids, solids and powders – where separation of species is not required and the need for chemical separation is negated. These technologies could be deployed on plants or in the laboratory inside cells or glove boxes.
  • Simple, efficient and clean separation technology – to separate species of interest from interference from other species (possibly with integrated measurement technology).
  • Microfluidic techniques and laser techniques that bring the additional advantage of low waste volume generation.


Please download the challenge statement for full details of this opportunity. You can also watch a webinar and Q & A session with the challenge owners for more information and details of how to apply.

National Nuclear Laboratory

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