Robotics and new technology faces a challenge that is very specific to the nuclear industry; how to be innovative in a highly regulated industry that must factor in a process of planning, building and running a nuclear plant over a time frame of as much as 100 years.
“You must find a balance between proposing something new on the one hand and having a standard tested technology on the other. It’s easy to build a robot. It is very difficult to license it for a nuclear project,” says Dan Serbanescu, an independent consultant on the RIMA projects.
The most interesting projects to be presented to the program have not focused on the core technology, full-scale testing of which is very costly, but rather on collateral issues such as control in highly radioactive areas during operation and decommissioning, Serbanescu says.
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