Sensor Driven demonstration wins approval

Published on Wednesday, 5th of May

A live demonstration of a prototype sensor system designed to help Sellafield monitor cans in long term storage has won the seal of approval for the next phase of development.

More than 40 Sellafield staff watched the successful demonstration of the Sensor Driven system, which is radiation tolerant, records the temperature and pressure of product cans and can relay changes to plant operators.

Sensor Driven achieved Game Changers funding to show that sensor components developed to dramatically extend battery life for decades can withstand radiation. Sensor longevity without battery replacement is critical when monitoring in areas with problematic access and especially those in harsh environments.

The demonstration was the culmination of an eight-month project, delivered on time and to budget. Sensor Driven, supported by Collender Ltd who provide design and manufacturing services, showcased the sensors which record constant measurements of temperature and pressure, provide instant alerts and wireless feedback to operators via a simple traffic light system.

In the next phase of the Game Changers project, Sensor Driven will concentrate on equipping devices with state-of-the-art communication capability and developing a plan for scaling production of the sensors.

Bernard Stark, Director of Sensor Driven, said he was delighted they’d been able to prove their technology worked remotely in areas with high radiation fields, and acknowledged all the help they’d received from the Game Changers team.

Paul Mort, Sellafield Innovation Lead, said “The technology being developed by Sensor Driven really is game changing. We will be able to move from a process which requires a lot of manual operations and with limited capability for product can inspections, to almost zero manual operations and the capability to real-time monitor all product cans. There are still a number of bridges to cross, but the goal is in sight.”

Simon Malone, Sellafield Ltd Central Technical R & D, said: “This work, completed to both schedule and cost, really shows the benefits of working with SMEs and the power of bringing new ideas into Sellafield Ltd.”  

National Nuclear Laboratory

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