The first two years of the Game Changers innovation programme has generated considerable interest in Sellafield’s decommissioning challenges from a wide spectrum of industries and academia.
During 2018 alone, over £300k has been awarded in proof of concept grants for technologies demonstrating great potential for future deployment at the Sellafield site.
Some of these projects also present collaboration opportunities for Tier 2 organisations to develop their next generation of innovative toolkits to tackle the nuclear industry’s complex decommissioning challenges.
From the outset, a key output of the programme was to develop a portfolio of de-risked technologies, all aligned with specific Sellafield challenges, which are ready for prototype development and possible future deployment. This is now very much a reality with a number of incredibly strong projects having completed the proof of concept stage, attracted interest from Sellafield and are now in a position for further development and with potential for Tier 2 involvement.
The initiative is helping identify and develop ground-breaking technologies with the potential to solve complex nuclear decommissioning challenges and has already supported concepts that could save Sellafield Ltd hundreds of millions of pounds.
11 challenge statements published covering waste containers, analytical services, condition monitoring and inspection, waste handling and POCO.
Over 400 delegates representing diverse industries and academic institutions have attended Game Changers briefing events.
196 applications have been made to the programme, each assessed for their suitability and potential for deployment at the Sellafield site.
80 applications awarded a feasibility grant to develop their business case and present their projects to review panel.
The programme is continuing to return positive results, with over 80 applications having received initial feasibility grants to assess their potential, and 13 of these awarded Proof of Concept funding to further develop the technologies.
By engaging with SMEs and academia, and forging partnership with organisations such as Subsea UK, the National Physical Laboratory, CENSIS and leading universities, the Game Changers team are introducing new ideas and fresh solutions into the nuclear arena.
The outlook for 2019 is to widen this engagement and reach out to even more diverse industry sectors – military, chemical engineering, agriculture – to discover what technologies and approaches are being utilised and which may transfer across to nuclear decommissioning.