3D Laser Scanning services Used to Decommission Old Nuclear Sites

Robots Used to Scan Plants

There are currently five pieces of technology, including 3D laser scanning services, that have been challenged to help decommission old nuclear sites. The goal is to take down the site, clean it up safely, and revitalize it to use later on. One of the best ways to do that is through technology. 

These sites are not always deemed safe to go into, and there is a large layout to understand before creating a plan to decommission a site. This can take an immense amount of time and leave people utterly exhausted. That’s where technology steps in to help. It is not taking the worker’s job to make the job easier by having the best tools possible. 

For this project, one team from the UK invested in a 3D laser scanning device that uses LIDAR or light detection and ranging. This allows them to map out the entire plant and see any radioactive isotopes that could be deemed dangerous. It will enable them to practice everything from a safe distance while still getting the best information. 

How does the process work?

For this project, the team could send in robots that would take the scan for them. It allows them to be distant yet still control the machines to ensure the correct information is picked up. First, there would be a map made to see exactly where the radioactive spots are to navigate the moving machines around those areas. 

It is the perfect way to understand where to avoid and create a plan to take down the plant without endangering anyone. Robots can be the best way to keep people safe while still gathering all of the necessary information.

How does LIDAR work?

Some machines come as small handheld devices, but for this project, we can connect a device that reads light waves to a moving device. It uses light waves from a laser to measure how far it travels and captures information on the reflection. This machine is incredibly accurate and can be programmed to look for different things and read different light waves. 

Are there other types of 3D laser scanners?

One of the best things about this technology is that there are so many different versions of it and various ways to use it. You will see the most common two ways are LIDAR and photogrammetry. The second version is where a device takes rapid pictures of an object, collecting all information. This is an excellent method for some objects but not for a nuclear plant layout. 

What can be done with the information?

Once all of the information is collected, it can be saved in the cloud used as a future reference. They can create 3D models where they can develop a plan. It can also be turned into virtual reality or sent to other teams to analyze as e-files. 

Final thoughts

Everything is changing rapidly, and we are continuing to look for safe ways to take down nuclear plants. 3D laser scanning services are being used to ensure it comes down safely and can be turned into something usable afterward with no signs of radioactive isotopes. 

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