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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/P018505/1
Title: TORONE - TOtal characterisation for Remote Observation in Nuclear Environments
Principal Investigator: Martin, Professor P
Other Investigators:
Smith, Professor N Aspinall, Dr M D Joyce, Professor MJ
Lennox, Professor B
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA) Nuclear Decomissioning Authority University of Florida
Department: Chem Eng and Analytical Science
Organisation: University of Manchester, The
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 April 2017 Ends: 31 March 2020 Value (£): 1,284,072
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Energy - Nuclear Instrumentation Eng. & Dev.
Robotics & Autonomy
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Energy
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
17 Nov 2016 Remote Sensing Prioritisation Meeting Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
The future use of nuclear energy in the UK and internationally is very much dependent on the ability to characterise the various highly radioactive environments that occur in the nuclear industry for both efficient decontamination and decommissioning as well as in the design of new nuclear fission reactors as well as fusion reactors.

Currently, site and material characterisation is costly and time consuming because remote methods for the environmental, chemical and geoscientific characterisation of man-made and natural materials, specifically designed for the nuclear arena, are limited. The inaccessible, complex and confined nature of these often high-radioactivity environments can preclude traditional field-based data collection techniques, which are often focused on sample collection and off-site analysis. With costs entering the tens or even hundreds of thousands of pounds for sample analysis in a particular plant, and the possibility that access is so restricted that obtaining samples may actually be impossible, remote in-situ analysis prior to segregation may offer a cheaper, safer, quicker and thus far more attractive solution. On their own, current in-situ techniques (e.g. gamma spectroscopy, 3D laser scanning, elemental composition through laser induced breakdown spectroscopy), each answer a particular characterisation question, but on their own only provide a component of the full characterisation picture that is required for instance for waste segregation.

This project aims to combine such technologies into an integrated system, with each technology contributing in real-time to form a seamless jigsaw - a 'total characterisation' picture - setting characterised materials into the spatial context of the environment they are located in. Advanced robotics and control technologies will be used in a similar way to NASA's Curiosity Rover to form the flexible platform necessary for the trials in a range of nuclear environments from Sellafield in the UK to Fukushima in Japan.

Key Findings
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Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.man.ac.uk