UK-based decommissioning and remote handling company James Fisher Nuclear (JFN) has secured a new high-value contract from engineering company Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI).

Under the contract, JFN will be responsible for developing the latest technology to sample radioactive debris sitting below reactor cores at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in Okuma, Japan.

JFN's nuclear business director Bertie Williams said: “For some time JFN has been regarded as an industry leader in this field and this award shows our expertise and experience is recognised and valued worldwide.

“Few businesses in the nuclear arena realistically have the experience and personnel with the capabilities to take on such a challenging task and we are looking forward to working with MHI to design and develop this technology.

"JFN will be responsible for developing the latest technology to sample radioactive debris sitting below reactor cores at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant."

“Given that it requires 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."

The British company has been successful in demonstrating its technically superior design, which is capable of addressing some of the most challenging conditions on earth. This helped win the order from MHI amidst tough competition from both the UK and the rest of the world.

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JFN has several high-radioactivity and ultra-hard exotic materials, both above and below water. Samples need to be safely extracted to evaluate the scale and complexity of the clean-up operation.

As part of the agreement, JFN will work in collaboration with MHI to fine tune the design to deploy it on site, where it can assist in the clean-up of Fukushima.

Image: The Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in Okuma, Japan. Photo: courtesy of KEI / Japanese Wikipedia.