Widely recognised as the UK’s number one in the business of decommissioning and remote handling within the nuclear industry, James Fisher Nuclear (JFN) has just been awarded a prestigious new high value contract by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) to develop the cutting edge technology needed to sample radioactive debris sitting below reactor cores at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant.

Against stiff competition from both the UK and the rest of the world the team from JFN was able to show MHI how their design was technically superior when it came to working in some of the most challenging environments on earth. With high radioactivity and ultra-hard exotic materials both above and below water from which samples need to be safely extracted to assess the scale and complexity of the clean-up operation, this was the kind of unique and highly technical challenge the engineers and designers at JFN thrive on.

Bertie Williams Business Director for Nuclear at JFN said  “For some  time JFN has been regarded as an industry leader in this field and this award shows that our expertise and experience is  recognised and valued worldwide.  Few businesses in the nuclear arena realistically have the experience and personnel with the capabilities take on such a challenging task and we are looking forward to working with MHI to design and develop this technology.   Given that it required sampling and retrieval to take place both below and above the waterline with a variety of materials to deal with and with strict guidelines to control particulate release it is a real credit to the team that they have devised such an effective solution to such a challenging problem”.

JFN were initially introduced to the Japanese Nuclear Market via a UKTI and British Embassy facilitated trade visit 3 years ago and have been supported ever since by the UKTI team at the Embassy and more latterly by INS and INSJ.  JFN will now work closely with MHI to fine tune the design with the ultimate aim of deployment on site where it can do its bit to help in the clean-up of Fukushima.