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Skating to success

A child’s skateboard has been used to accelerate nuclear decommissioning at Dungeness A Site, saving thousands of pounds for the UK taxpayer.

An off-the-shelf solution, costing £5,000, could have been used to carry out camera inspection works at the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) owned site in Kent, but instead a duo of enterprising engineers came up with a much better value option.

Matt Challiss and Peter Prior’s innovative solution involved fixing a camera to a skateboard costing just £5.99 to inspect underneath equipment used as part of waste processing operations.

The addition of drain rods to the system allowed it to be moved around successfully, eliminating the additional modifications that would have been needed to use the off-the-shelf kit.

The skateboard solution was successfully used to carry out inspections underneath the plant and confirm it was in full working order.

A further benefit was that it eliminated radiological dose to personnel by removing the need to access the area to carry out the inspections in person, significantly reducing the risk of the work.

The simple kit has been so successful it has been used for further inspection work that will take the site towards care and maintenance.

Chris Milne, Dungeness Engineering Manager, said: “This is an example of a very innovative approach to an engineering challenge on site, and shows how sometimes the simplest ideas can be the most effective. The solution was designed in-house, was easy to make and performed well in operation.”