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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/P017436/1
Title: ASPIRE: Advanced Self-Powered sensor units in Intense Radiation Environments
Principal Investigator: Scott, Professor TB
Other Investigators:
Fox, Dr N Nix, Professor A Rogers, Dr DJ
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Kyoto University National Nuclear Laboratory Nuclear Decomissioning Authority
Department: Interface Analysis Centre
Organisation: University of Bristol
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 February 2017 Ends: 31 January 2020 Value (£): 874,924
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Energy - Nuclear
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Environment Energy
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
17 Nov 2016 Remote Sensing Prioritisation Meeting Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Addressing the UK's nuclear legacy is the largest, most important environmental remediation programme in Europe, with estimated expenditure of £115 billion over the next 120 years. A significant proportion of this cost is associated with decommissioning and management of high and intermediate level radioactive waste; material that is too radioactive for direct human handling. There is therefore a need for remotely operated, waste characterisation technologies to enable monitoring of such wasteforms in their interim and final storage locations.

Due to the extreme radiation fields present, retrospectively fitting sensors that rely upon cables for power and data transmission is not feasible and hence alternative technologies for powering sensors are required. Our project will seek to address this challenge by developing a solution using advanced diamond materials to harvest energy from radioactive decay to power small, portable devices containing multiple sensors that pass data over wireless networks.

There are clear benefits for the technology including: less wiring, less maintenance, less dose to operators and an extended lifespan of sensors or mobile platforms. The sensors powered by such devices would be able to provide information for long periods of time that would otherwise be challenging to gather but none the less very important for long term safety cases. Therefore, this technology could represent a significant financial saving for UK plc. By the end of the project we would aim to demonstrate this technology by: (i) deployment in active plant at Sellafield; and (ii) deployment in a reactor core at Kyoto University Research Reactor Institute, Japan.
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Organisation Website: http://www.bris.ac.uk