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£3 million Dragon’s Den style competition shortlists ideas to clean up old nuclear plants

Published: August 10, 2017

​15 ideas have been shortlisted in a £3 million competition to find new ways of cleaning up one of the UK’s largest nuclear hazards.​

The shortlisted entries, many of which come from companies that have never worked in the nuclear industry before, now have around 3 months to develop their ideas for a chance to move on to the next stage. They’ll start fleshing out their concepts on how to safely dismantle a large number of highly radioactive rooms or ‘cells’ at Europe’s most complex nuclear site, Sellafield in Cumbria.

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Cutting edge technologies such as artificial intelligence, virtual reality, robots, drones and lasers are being proposed as ways of cleaning up Sellafield in Cumbria - Europe’s most complex nuclear site.

Melanie Brownridge, the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority’s (NDA) Head of Technology, said:
This competition is an amazing opportunity for creative, forward-thinking and innovative companies to collaborate and come up with cutting-edge solutions for cleaning up some of the UK’s most complex nuclear sites.

The competition, which is being run by the NDA, and the UK government’s innovation agency, Innovate UK, is awarding an initial £750,000 to a shortlist of 15 newly formed consortia to help them develop their ideas. Full details remain under commercial wraps but more will be revealed when the winners are picked at the end of the year and begin to build prototypes, supported by the remaining funds.

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