Cavendish Nuclear Tests Lightweight Plutonium Mapping System

Cavandish Nuclear said it was testing a new system for mapping radioactive hotspots in a decommissioning project with technology that “promises to transform the decommissioning of redundant nuclear plant.” the company said.

PHUMSCavendish said it was utilizing a recently developed breakthrough in fast neutron detection technology to develop a lightweight system that combines simple “plug and play” laptop based electronics with algorithms developed by the company.

The company is testing the technique at the Sellafield fuel cycle site in Cumbria, where the reprocessing facility is being prepared for the transition to decommissioning.

At Sellafield, Cavendish is also using the standard DISPIM Imaging device, which they developed, for mapping alpha contamination. That system is heavily shielded and weighs “a cumbersome half a tonne.”

The new ARKTIS S670e detector is much more mobile and weighs just six kilograms, making it easier for workers to carry out scans in various locations.

The development process began with Cavendish identifying the potential of the lightweight version of ARTKIS in 2015.

The result is the lightweight Plutonium Hold Up Management System – PHUMS.

So far, said the company, the results have been promising, the system delivering rapid and accurate models of facilities for the presence of plutonium.

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