The Sellafield nuclear plant is a 3 km2 site in north-west Cumbria, England, with a long and distinguished history of nuclear power generation, reprocessing and waste storage—with a current working emphasis on decommissioning and clean-up. Important to this safe, efficient and complete remediation of the site, routine monitoring is essential in a wide range of on-site environments and structures to attain: (i) accurately map the evolving distribution of radiation with the best possible accuracy (sensitivity and spatial resolution); in addition to (ii) the contributing radionuclide species and therefore the radiological and chemo-toxicity risk. This work presents the trial deployment of an unmanned aerial vehicle equipped with a lightweight radiation detection system as a novel tool for the assessment of radioactivity at a number of test-sites on the nuclear licenced site. Through the use of this system, it was possible to determine the existence of anthropogenically present radiation at selected facilities. Such a system has been proven to be highly accurate (spatially) and precise (attribution of contamination species observed) within the challenging site environments, capable of measuring and mapping contamination over both high and low dose-rate areas.
- nuclear waste