News

New NNL Game Changer Challenges Now Open

We are offering funding to develop innovative solutions for a range of technically diverse challenges via the Game Changers innovation programme.


Manipulating americium in a glovebox

We are seeking innovative and compact solutions to facilitate americium oxide powder handling for the production of space probe batteries.
The powders will be handled in a new facility in NNL’s Central Lab, called “PuMA2”. Operator handling will be required in a process that separates americium-241 from aged plutonium dioxide.

The primary objective of this challenge is to minimise contact dose uptake for operators when solids are transferred from a filter system to a suitable container for decomposition in a furnace with a glovebox.

We’re are looking for solutions that offer a reduced footprint and lower cost in comparison to current design plans, whilst maintaining safe operation. Do you have a solution that can help us achieve this?

Funding is available for proof of concept projects which may provide a solution to all or part of this challenge.

For more information and how to apply, visit the Gamechangers website.

The deadline for applications is 12pm on Thursday 19th November 2020.


Fuel pin remote sampling tool

We are seeking an innovative sampling tool to collect carbonaceous deposits from the cladding of Advanced Gas-cooled Reactor (AGR) fuel pins which are situated in cooling ponds.

The sampling tool may work in conjunction with endoscopic equipment currently used by NNL for visual inspections of the fuel pins, or it may be a standalone device.

Solutions to this challenge must be deployable within 12 – 24 months.

Funding is available for proof of concept projects which may provide a solution to all or part of this challenge.

For more information and how to apply, visit the Gamechangers website.

The deadline for applications is 12pm on Thursday 19th November 2020.


Reduction of secondary waste in nuclear fuel reprocessing

We are seeking novel cleaning methods to extend the operational life of solvents and extractants employed during nuclear reprocessing to recover valuable re-useable plutonium (Pu) and uranium (U) from spent nuclear fuel.

During their use, the solvents and extractants degrade and become contaminated. This can compromise the performance of reprocessing plants and necessitates the disposal of solvent and extractant as waste.

Cleaning of the solvents and extractants to remove radioactivity and degradation products can be used to extend their operational life and reduces the production of waste solvent.

We’re seeking alternative safe and efficient cleaning methods that retain the physical and chemical properties of the solvent without generating significant additional waste (solid or liquid effluents).

Funding is available for proof of concept projects which may provide a solution to all or part of this challenge.

For more information and how to apply, visit the Gamechanger website.

The deadline for applications is 12pm on Thursday 19th November 2020.