Magnox are responsible for decommissioning 12 nuclear sites and operating 1 hydro-electric plant spread across the UK. The process of nuclear decommissioning is of course highly complex and requires a multitude of processes and services to complete. The resources on site are extensive, and effective management of all the various elements takes a great deal of organisation.
There are many safety risks to consider when working on any busy industrial facility, and a decommissioned nuclear power plant can present even more than usual. Staff safety is at the heart of all onsite activities and removing or reducing the potential risks is a top priority.
Drone in a Box Use Case
A dedicated drone system on a large facility removes the need for manual inspection and surveillance work, particularly at height. This reduces cost, risk, time, and resource, all of which means operations on site are completed safely and more efficiently.
A remote access drone station also allows for these tasks to be completed without the need for individuals to be on site at all – the system can be remotely accessed from anywhere in the world, further reducing costs, time and risk.
By completing daily flights or even multiple flights per day, a complete and up to the minute digital representation of the site is available to inspect and interrogate from anywhere with an internet connection. As such, security, maintenance, and inspection projects can be quickly executed and the data is immediately available, without ever requiring a pilot to step foot on the facility grounds.
Magnox have been able to dramatically improve the efficiency and regularity of their site inspection tasks, as well reduce the potential risks and challenges of tasking individuals to complete those operations. The Autonomous drone station is entirely self-sufficient, requiring no outside input for storage or power and network management. As such the system has integrated seamlessly into the day-to-day onsite activities.
Magnox have demonstrated dramatic cost and risk savings across their site operations and as such are looking at the potential to roll out autonomous drone stations across more of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority. The benefits of unmanned facility inspection and surveillance are clear to see when considering hostile environments such as a nuclear power station, when that capability also saves cost and time the value really is significant.