National Nuclear Laboratory


Sunday 25 May 2014

HiRad detection device wins Innovation Award

Innovation is at the heart of NNL’s activities. Proof that we’re good at what we do came last week when we picked up a top external award.Designed to reward the excellence of companies and individuals that form the backbone of future growth in Cumbria, the CN Group Business Awards recognise the many influential and profitable businesses operating in the county.NNL’s HiRad radiation detection system won the Innovation and Technology category award following an entry by NNL Research Technologist Chris Holmes, who developed this novel technology, along with co-developer and colleague, Steve Stanley. HiRad is a non-electrical, real-time, remotely deployed radiation detector suitable for use in facilities with elevated levels of radiation.  The system consists of a small scintillating crystal coupled to a variable length metal coated fibre optic cable. Small dimensions and flexibility enable HiRad to be used in small, difficult to access areas such as pipe work.The technology can be deployed as a single detector, a chain, or as an array giving the ability to monitor large process areas. It has the potential to offer customers increased insight into their process operations with cost effective, timely radiation level mapping with reduced radiation exposure to man.The HiRad team has worked in partnership with Tracerco (who had developed an earlier prototype of the system for use in the oil and gas industry) and developed the technology for use in the nuclear industry using resources made available as part of the successful Internal Research and Development (IR&D) programme. The NNL IR&D programme has put aside £1 million to encourage its people to develop new and innovative ideas that are not directly tied to customer projects.The HiRad technology is being commercialised by the NNL. It has demonstrated an ability to offer considerable benefits to operators in the nuclear industry. Technical development is continuing in a joint collaboration programme between the NNL and Sellafield Ltd.For further information on the HiRad device and its potential for your business, please contact Sheila Rae in our Business Development team on 019467 79183 or 07802 273365.