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Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Firms could help nuclear clean-up

CUMBRIAN companies have been praised by a delegation of Japanese nuclear experts.

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VISIT: A delegation of Japanese nuclear decommissioning experts from Hitachi with Steve Wood from REACT (centre) and Matt Mellor from Createc (third from right)

REACT Engineering, based in Cleator Moor, and Createc, from Cockermouth, were described as “a masterpiece in the attic” by the nuclear decommissioning experts from Hitachi in Japan.

Following the visit, Cumbrian engineering excellence could end up helping the decommissioning efforts in Japan.

Steve Wood, managing director of REACT Engineering, said: “We first had contact with the team at Hitachi back in April through connections with the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority.

“We were delighted when they asked to see us and find out more about our technology as part of a Cumbrian visit last month. They visited us at our HQ in Cleator Moor and then had a fascinating meeting with the team at Createc, a growing R&D company that was formed as a spin-off from REACT in 2010.

“We’ve now concluded contract negotiations with Hitachi about funding a specific prototype for their situation.”

“Hitachi is working with the Japanese government to find ways of cleaning up Fukushima and other nuclear power plants damaged by the tsunami and earthquake in 2011.

“Hitachi scientists and engineers are looking for the best available technology to help do this safely and effectively and they seemed to find just what they were looking for here in Cumbria.”

Createc and REACT Engineering were able to showcase their new N-Visage technology, which they have been developing in partnership. The technology combines the latest sensor developments with nuclear expertise and sophisticated 3D computer modelling to show operators the dose levels in different parts of a nuclear environment.

Operators can then programme in a variety of approaches to clean-up and are able to “see” how these would affect the dose levels of radiation and enable safer working.

The Createc team is now looking at ways to adapt the technology, partly funded by the UK Technology Strategy Board and with support from the NDA.

There are already Createc projects to investigate medical and security applications and the business is recognised as being at the forefront of sensor and imaging technology.

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