SNM package inspections - ex-situ

Sellafield Ltd is responsible for the storage of Special Nuclear Materials (SNM) that are a legacy of 60 years of reprocessing activities on the Sellafield site. 

To provide confidence that SNM packages remain safe for continued storage within Sellafield’s stores, it is necessary to obtain reproducible visual images of the entire exterior of the packages. This is performed ex-situ and does not require radiation hardened equipment. The aim is to identify structural changes through storage of precisely located visual images that can be referenced against at points in the future to monitor change. 

The essence of this challenge is to find a precise, reproducible and possibly automated method for gathering inspection images.


The challenge owners at Sellafield are seeking a solution that provides accurate and reproducible positioning for the capture of images of the entire surface of each SNM package during ex-situ inspection. This includes the top and bottom of the cylinder as well as the sides. 

Such solutions might target the precise rotation of the SNM package or provide an image capture system that does not require rotation of the SNM package.

There are a number of physical characteristics that are of interest and must be captured by any proposed imaging system. Full details of these are provided in the Functional Requirements section of the challenge statement.

Sellafield ideally require a solution that can be deployed within approximately one year of successful completion of a Proof of Concept project.


Please download the challenge statement for full details of this opportunity.

A challenge briefing webinar will take place on Tuesday 8th November from 10am - 11.30am. Details of an additional distinct 'SNM package inspections - in-situ' challenge will also be given during this time.

Attendance is free. If you'd like to attend the event, please register via Eventbrite.

The closing date for this challenge is 24th November at 12 noon.

National Nuclear Laboratory

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