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Software Will Cut Millions From Nuclear Clean-Up Bill


Hanford Nuclear Reservation

The U.S. government spends about $2 billion each year toward cleaning up the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, the nation's most contaminated nuclear site.

Credit: The Associated Press

University of Leeds researchers have developed software that enables nuclear industry planners to find the best way of breaking up and packing contaminated equipment while minimizing workers' radiation exposure. The NuPlant program also shows how radioactive waste can be stored in the smallest possible space, reducing the number of long-term containers needed.

"Independent commercial contractors have estimated that just packing this waste efficiently could lead to literally millions of pounds being saved from the public purse," says UL professor Richard Williams. NuPlant was tested by several industry partners for a variety of applications and is expected to be used in the design of nuclear reactors. The software is based on a modeling tool that demonstrates how irregularly-shaped objects fit best together.

"This software tool will help engineers design new reactors with cost-effective decommissioning in mind," says Structure Vision Board chairman Neville Chamberlain.

From University of Leeds
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