Veolia selects Siteflow for Fukushima decommissioning support

05 December 2023

Radioactive waste management specialist Veolia Nuclear Solutions (VNS) has partnered with French software solution provider Siteflow to enhance the design, execution and functionality of its remotely operated systems within the nuclear industry and other hazardous environments.

Veolia's robotic arm (Image: Veolia)

Notably, Siteflow will be employed by VNS UK to facilitate the testing of its latest robotic arm - a cutting-edge solution for nuclear maintenance and a future pivotal component in the decommissioning process of Japan's damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

This second robotic arm will build upon the success of its predecessor, already in Japan, with deployment on site scheduled for 2024.

VNS has been actively involved at the Fukushima Daiichi site since October 2014. Its mission includes the design and construction of long-range robotic manipulator systems to inspect, repair leaks, and recover fuel debris from unit 2's containment vessel. After undergoing rigorous testing, VNS's first teleoperated robotic arm - which has a reach of more than 21 metres - arrived at the site last month to deploy radiation sensors in locations inaccessible to humans through narrow openings.

Siteflow, will be employed by VNS to oversee the testing and operation planning for its second, "new generation" robotic arm, which will be used to retrieve physical samples of fuel debris.

"At Veolia, we believe that cutting-edge technology is a great opportunity for ecological transformation," said VNS Deputy Chief Technical Officer Simon Delavalle. "Siteflow, a solution that combines ease of use, speed, and reliability, emerges as a valuable asset. It will guide our engineering teams and operators in effectively developing and operating highly complex equipment at sites like Fukushima and other hazardous locations."

"This partnership with Veolia demonstrates the versatility and adaptability of our solution," said Siteflow Co-Founder and CEO Louis Hauvette. "This is a significant step for us. We continue to discover new use cases, and this one is thrilling! We are very proud that Siteflow is being used on a project that constitutes one of the biggest challenges in the history of the nuclear industry."

Siteflow noted the partnership with VNS UK marks a significant step in its international expansion as it represents its first contract with a British partner since opening its UK office in November last year.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News