SBRI competition: Sort and segregate nuclear waste - phase 1

News article

£3.9 million available for innovative ways to sort and segregate radioactive waste

The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, in partnership with Innovate UK, is delivering a Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) competition to fund innovative ideas that will lead to cheaper, safer and faster ways of sorting and segregating radioactive waste.

In particular, they are looking for development of integrated and autonomous systems that can do all of the following:

  • detect the type and intensity of the radioactivity present using existing technology
  • determine the composition, size, shape, and surface area of the material
  • sort and segregate the waste by radioactive classification and material type
  • remotely move the waste from a specific area and then pack it into an appropriate container
  • collect and analyse data and images, and retain accurate records

Successful applicants will receive 100 per cent funding to develop and demonstrate their technologies. This is phase 1 of a 2-phase competition.

Phase 1: research and development contracts, feasibility study (this competition)
Up to £600,000, including VAT, is available for phase 1 and it is anticipated that the feasibility study research and development (R&D) contracts will be up to £60,000, including VAT. This is for each project for up to 3 months. NDA expect to fund up to 10 projects. At the conclusion of phase 1, you will produce a technical feasibility study.

Phase 2: research and development contracts, prototype development and testing
Only successful applicants from phase 1 will be able to apply to take part in phase 2. Your end-of-phase 1 report (technical feasibility study) will form part of your application into phase 2.

The second phase will involve up to 4 R&D contracts. Up to £900,000, including VAT, will be allocated for each contract for up to 15 months, in order to develop and demonstrate a full scale prototype in a non-radioactive environment.

Who should apply?
Applications can be led by any organisation, of any size and from any sector. Technology transfer from sectors outside nuclear, that carry out multiple complex automated tasks rapidly and safely, will be welcomed. This might include, for example, food processing, logistics, waste management, high-value manufacturing or medical.

This competition opens on Monday 17 August and closes at 11:00 on 11 November 2020.

Find out more about this competition and apply.

An online briefing event will take place for potential applicants to find out more information, on 25 August 2020. Book your place at the briefing event.


First published 29 July 2020