World Nuclear Experts Debate ‘Hot Labs’
A group of the most eminent experts in highly radioactive work from around the world saw some of the unrivalled nuclear facilities for themselves on a visit to the newly created National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL) at Sellafield.
The tour of the laboratories and Hot Cells area was part of a major two-day conference being staged in Cumbria to collaborate on developing skills and technologies in this key area of work for the nuclear industry.
More than 50 delegates from Europe, the US, Japan and South Africa were involved in the event which acts as a global forum.
The NNL is developing the skills and technologies to safeguard the UK nuclear industry now and for the future, providing customers with tailored solutions through technical innovation and intellectual support and making it an international centre of research and development.
Dr Peter Bleasdale, managing director of the NNL, said: “A conference of this kind helps to put the NNL firmly on the global nuclear industry map. The delegates certainly seemed impressed by what they saw, after all these are the best of their kind anywhere in the world and we are pleased to be able to share in the development of our facilities.
“The group covered a number of key areas of work. This is an ideal forum to collaborate with others involved in similar work around the world and to share our expertise and knowledge in the interests of everyone in the industry.”
The Hot Cells area of the NNL are recognised as being amongst the most advanced in the world with remote handling capability for all highly radioactive materials used in the nuclear fuel cycle.
The conference – the 45th event of its kind since the group was formed – covered issues including future industry Hot lab needs, infrastructure, refurbishment and decommissioning experience, developments in national and international transport and flasking and post irradiation techniques.
The group specialises in subjects including analytical methods, remote handling techniques, safety features, waste handling and quality matters, transport, licensing and present and future demands of the industry.
Part of the remit of the organisation is to also draw some conclusions as to future needs of the industry and to identify areas of work for special development.
It is the fifth time the conference has been hosted in the UK since the Hot Labs Working Group was originally set up in 1963.
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Notes to Editors
The National Nuclear Laboratory
The National Nuclear Laboratory was formed out of Nexia Solutions Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of British Nuclear Fuels plc. The NNL will be developing the skills and technologies to safeguard the UK nuclear industry now and for the future, providing customers with tailored solutions by applying the appropriate level of technical innovation and intellectual support. Customers include the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA), Sellafield Ltd, Westinghouse, Ministry of Defence, United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA), VT Nuclear and British Energy plc.
The NNL provides nuclear technology services across the full nuclear fuel cycle and is developing expertise across diverse science and engineering disciplines.
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