Ubisense technology employed to improve safety at nuclear plants
Cambridge based Ubisense’s real-time location system is being used by BIL Solutions – formerly BNFL Instruments – to develop a new way to measure and record radiation dose rates that could dramatically improve safety measures and quality assurance for nuclear plants and their employees.
The solution is being trialled by British Nuclear Group, the parent company of BIL Solutions, in a project funded through Nexia Solutions by The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority.
BIL Solutions is a world leader in detection, monitoring and measurement technologies serving nuclear, defence, civil, environmental and industrial sectors.
The company has integrated the Ubisense RTLS platform with dosimetry, the principles and techniques involved in mapping radiation dose rates, to produce a real-time map that reflects radiation levels and the location of each worker.
British Nuclear Group began trialling the system in January 2006 and is further considering the benefits of the automated safety and quality assurance controls this technology offers.
The Ubisense system may also be used to improve workforce efficiencies enabling employees to spend more time working in the safest area possible. British Nuclear Group expects scalable and measurable improvements in its overall work process.
The Ubisense platform relies on ultra-wideband (UWB) technology to locate people and assets within 30 cm in 3D. In this particular deployment, the precise level of tracking accuracy generated by the Ubisense platform enables British Nuclear Group to track and locate employees in real-time to monitor and evaluate work and safety conditions.
Karl Hughes, project manager, BIL Solutions, said: “We have been able to measure radiation levels with dosimeters but until now, we needed employees to read the meters in order to obtain the data.
“We had no way to extract this information and relate it, automatically, to the location at which the measurement was made. We now know both the exact location of any given worker and the dose rate that they are working in.
“We consider the Ubisense platform a significant technological breakthrough. The real-time visibility it provides helps us to keep our employees safer and identify ways we can improve workplace processes. This solution has the potential to radically transform business processes for plant decommissioning.”
Richard Green, Ubisense’s CEO added: “This is a prime example of how our UWB technology is impacting companies around the world. We aren’t selling our RTLS platform because customers want to replace old generation infrastructure.
“Customers want our technology because it provides precise, detailed visibility into business processes that enables companies to quickly and easily identify efficiencies and safety measures, such is the case with British Nuclear Group. We are enabling businesses to measure and track people, assets and processes in a radically new way.”