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Queen's Award for Enterprise for Createc

Published on: Tuesday 8th May 2018
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Cockermouth firm is recognised for its work with Japan's Fukushima plant

Cockermouth's Createc has won a prestigious Queen's Award for Enterprise.

The radiation imaging specialist was recognised in the international trade category for outstanding sales growth, particularly in Japan.

Createc is helping experts at the country's Fukushima nuclear plant assess the extent of the damage caused in 2011, when a tsunami following an earthquake disabled the power supply and cooling of three reactors at the site.

After the disaster, many areas could not be accessed remotely to look at the damage and resulting radiation.

Createc, established in 2010, has provided equipment to build up a 3D model of radiation levels inside the facility.

Dr Matt Mellor, managing director of Createc, said: "It’s has been deployed in reactor numbers one, two and three at Fukushima to remotely measure radiation levels so we can tell engineers where the radiation is, what it is, and whether they can safely reuse equipment already there to remove fuel rods from the reactors."

The initial work by Createc led to a number of collaborations by the firm with scientists and engineers, including radiation mapping software and an unmanned aerial vehicle.

It is currently working with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries to develop radiation sensors to use at the Japanese nuclear plant.

Dr Mellor added: "We are now on the second phase for the development of the sensors.

The first Createc instrument used at Fukushima was a small gamma-ray camera that could be inserted via small openings to produce images of radiation in places where human access was prohibited.

"If all goes well, these sensors will then be commissioned for use at Fukushima to locate and quantify the fuel debris in the very hostile environment of the primary containment vessels.”

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