The UK and #Japan have joined hands in a new collaboration named #LongOps, termed as “world-leading alliance” to explore new paths in the world of robotics and automation.
The aim is to support the delivery of faster and safer decommissioning by using long reach robotic arms which have several benefits such as remote inspection in inhospitable environments, easily transportable, tailored to certain tasks, minimal storage space, etc.
This robotics project is valued at £12M, spread over four years, and is equally funded by #UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings (#TEPCO). It’ll be employed at Sellafield in the UK and the Fukushima Dai-ichi reactors in Japan—the site of the 2011 nuclear disaster. The project is equally promising because it provides employment opportunities, research in robotics, and upskilling of the scientific and engineering community.
Akira Ono, the chief decommissioning officer at TEPCO, and Adrian Simper, Technology Director at Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, expressed their enthusiasm over the collaboration and the usage of robotics and remote-control technology to carry out the cleaning process efficiently.
The project will also see the usage of virtual models where the pairing of the virtual and physical worlds will allow for remote access viewing, detailed analysis of input data, and intelligent forecasting of potential issues.