National Nuclear Laboratory

Ian Tellam

  • The University of Manchester – School of Social Sciences
  • Academic Supervisors: Penelope Harvey, Barry Lennox
  • Industrial Supervisor: Anthony Banford
  • Project timeline: Sep 2018 – Sep 2021
  • Research areas of interest: Anthropology, Technology, Robotics
  • Academic Qualifications: Bachelor of Science in Psychology & Business Studies, University of Buckingham; Master of Arts in Social Anthropology, University of Manchester; Master of Arts in Anthropological Research, University of Manchester
  • University profile, LinkedIn page

The adoption of novel technology in nuclear decommissioning

My project sets out to explore the social and cultural processes of technological innovation in the context of the decommissioning of the Sellafield nuclear site in West Cumbria. Many of the technologies identified as necessary to the decommissioning process are not yet fully developed, or have been developed for different working contexts. The successful translation of novel technology from concept through to routine adoption is built around demonstrating efficacy, and establishing and maintaining confidence amongst a broad cross-section of invested stake-holders. Building on the work of STS and anthropology scholars of the nuclear industry my research will focus on how technological development and implementation happens currently in this highly regulated sector, and how a deeper understanding of these processes might help to avoid problems encountered in the past, and build on and strengthen processes that work for the future.