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Title: Use of virtual reality to support nuclear decommissioning
Author: Nash, Benjamin
ISNI:       0000 0004 9357 0175
Awarding Body: Imperial College London
Current Institution: Imperial College London
Date of Award: 2020
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The use of VR has seen significant developments in recent years. The use of VR simulation tools offers new opportunities to develop, assess and train for decommissioning activities. Training for the decommissioning of nuclear reactors and facilities represent challenges that are unique to the nuclear industry. The protection of individuals from the hazardous effects of ionising radiation requires that mechanical assemblies are dismantled through the use of remote handling tooling. In this thesis, the use of simulation and VR to support the training of staff in the use of remote handling tools was studied. The decommissioning of the Consort research reactor provides a real-world example of a decommissioning project. Two simulators were created that were used to examine the development of remote handling skills using VR. The first simulator was used to explore the development of skills using remote handling tongs. This was in support of the cropping of the Consort reactor control rods. The second simulator was created to explore the development of skills using MSM. This was in support of the dismantling of the Consort reactor core assembly. The results from this research show that using VR; it is possible to develop skills using remote handling tools. The research further shows that the skills developed are transferable between the real and virtual worlds. The research also shows that VR can be a powerful tool for the development of processes. Improved processes lead to reduced costs, improvements to safety and lower the required level of skill for performing remote handling tasks.
Supervisor: Chambers, Trevor Sponsor: Atomic Weapons Establishment plc
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral