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Reference Number EP/W001128/1
Title Robotics and Artificial Intelligence for Nuclear Plus (RAIN+)
Status Started
Energy Categories NUCLEAR FISSION and FUSION(Nuclear Fission, Nuclear supporting technologies) 50%;
NUCLEAR FISSION and FUSION(Nuclear Fusion) 50%;
Research Types Basic and strategic applied research 100%
Science and Technology Fields PHYSICAL SCIENCES AND MATHEMATICS (Computer Science and Informatics) 50%;
ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY (Electrical and Electronic Engineering) 25%;
ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY (Mechanical, Aeronautical and Manufacturing Engineering) 25%;
UKERC Cross Cutting Characterisation Not Cross-cutting 100%
Principal Investigator Professor B Lennox
No email address given
Electrical & Electronic Engineering
University of Manchester
Award Type Standard
Funding Source EPSRC
Start Date 01 April 2021
End Date 31 March 2022
Duration 12 months
Total Grant Value £1,975,413
Industrial Sectors Energy
Region North West
Programme ISCF Robotics
 
Investigators Principal Investigator Professor B Lennox , Electrical & Electronic Engineering, University of Manchester (99.971%)
  Other Investigator Dr M Fallon , Engineering Science, University of Oxford (0.001%)
Professor N Hawes , Engineering Science, University of Oxford (0.001%)
Dr I Havoutis , Engineering Science, University of Oxford (0.001%)
Professor NG Wright , Electrical, Electronic & Computer Eng, Newcastle University (0.001%)
Dr JH Boyle , Mechanical Engineering, University of Leeds (0.001%)
Professor MJ Joyce , Engineering, Lancaster University (0.001%)
Dr TB Scott , Interface Analysis Centre, University of Bristol (0.001%)
Dr G Herrmann , Mechanical Engineering, University of Bristol (0.001%)
Dr A Tzemanaki , Mechanical Engineering, University of Bristol (0.001%)
Dr SA Watson , Electrical & Electronic Engineering, University of Manchester (0.001%)
Dr J Carrasco , Electrical & Electronic Engineering, University of Manchester (0.001%)
Dr F Arvin , Electrical & Electronic Engineering, University of Manchester (0.001%)
Dr TS Richardson , Aerospace Engineering, University of Bristol (0.001%)
Dr R Buckingham , Culham Division, United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) (0.001%)
Dr A Weightman , Mechanical, Aerospace and Civil Engineering, University of Manchester (0.001%)
Dr PG Martin , Physics, University of Bristol (0.001%)
Dr G Epiphaniou , Warwick Manufacturing Group, University of Warwick (0.001%)
Professor C Maple , Warwick Manufacturing Group, University of Warwick (0.001%)
Professor DA Axinte , Faculty of Engineering, University of Nottingham (0.001%)
Dr X Dong , Faculty of Engineering, University of Nottingham (0.001%)
Mr RJ Adams , Faculty of Engineering, University of Nottingham (0.001%)
Dr A Mohammad , Faculty of Engineering, University of Nottingham (0.001%)
Dr C Dixon , Computer Scienc, University of Liverpool (0.001%)
Dr L Dennis , Computer Scienc, University of Liverpool (0.001%)
Professor M Fisher , Computer Scienc, University of Liverpool (0.001%)
Professor W Harwin , Sch of Biological Science, University of Reading (0.001%)
Dr M Haroutunian , Sch of Engineering, Newcastle University (0.001%)
Dr S Benson , Sch of Engineering, Newcastle University (0.001%)
Dr P Scarfe , Sch of Psychology and Clinical Lang Sci, University of Reading (0.001%)
Web Site
Objectives
Abstract The nuclear industry has a vast array of highly complex and diverse challenges that span decommissioning, waste management, fission power plants, advanced modular reactors and fusion reactors. In the UK, one of the most significant challenges is to decommission legacy storage facilities. There is estimated to be approximately 3,000 tonnes of high-level waste (HLW), 310,000 tonnes of intermediate level waste (ILW) and hundreds of radioactive facilities that need to be decommissioned in the UK alone. Despite significant progress during the first phase of RAIN, decommissioning continues to rely almost exclusively on manual operations, requiring people to enter extremely hazardous environments placing themselves at risk. Significant amounts of personal protective equipment (PPE) is required, which reduces dexterity and lowers productivity to levels significantly below that of other industries. PPE also adds significantly to the waste materials that must be disposed of and as a consequence, makes some future operations infeasible. For example, it has been estimated that more than 1 million suited entries will be required to decommission the THORP plant alone on the Sellafield site. RAI technologies are therefore considered essential if the UK is to address its decommissioning challenges. In the future generation of nuclear power, fusion reactors will not be able to operate without advances being made to remote handling equipment. In addition, remote inspection and maintenance of new fission reactors is essential if they are to be commercially viable. RAIN+ will continue to push the boundaries of Robotics and AI (RAI) science, developing robotic solutions that solve major challenges facing the nuclear sector. To ensure that the work is relevant, has a long-term impact on industry, and leads to deployments of RAI technology into active facilities, RAIN will continue to work in close partnership with nuclear end-users, the supply chain and regulators. Furthermore, recognising that many of the hazards encountered in the nuclear industry are prevalent in other industry sectors, such as agriculture, construction, offshore and healthcare, RAIN will work to expand its user and application base such that RAI solutions can be developed that have cross-sector relevance and a single hub for all challenging environments, not just nuclear, can be established towards the end of this second phase
Publications (none)
Final Report (none)
Added to Database 19/08/21