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Day 1 - WM2018

Monday 19 March 2018

Today is the first official day of the conference. There are 2,275 registered attendees which is slightly up from last year. The largest increase is from Universities (probably because of the Robotics theme) that then masks a small drop off from other organisations and companies. The graphs below shows some breakdown of attendees.

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The conference opened with the Plenary Session. There were speeches supporting nuclear clean up and were from Chuck Fleischmann, US Congressman, 3rd District of Tennessee (USA), Billy Morrison, President & CEO, Veolia Nuclear Solutions - Federal Services (USA) and Jim Colgary, Chief of Staff to the Deputy Secretary, US DOE (USA).

I attended the first panel session on robotics. It's aim was to set the stage for many of the paper and panel presentations following the robotics, remote systems and emerging technologies featured theme at the WM2018 conference.

  • Robert Ambrose (NASA) presented on the US Government Perspective. 
  • Rob Buckingham (UKAEA/RACE) gave a 10 minute presentation on UK Nuclear Robotics.
  • Jim Key (Atomic Energy Workers Council) presented on Nuclear and Industrial Robotics, Remote Systems and Other Emerging Technologies 
  • Thomas Nance (SRNL) presented on Robotics at Savannah River Site 

The exhibition hall beckoned and there was a large section on robotics.

Robot Demo Area.JPG

Robot Demo Area


Paula with PMORPH. Hitachio GE gave a talk and demonstration of their robot as used in Fukushima.

After lunch there was a panel session on using exoskeletons for worker augmentation. This panel focused on state-of-the-art and current research trends of exoskeleton and wearable technologies as well as user needs and perspectives. 

Other presentations, in a different session, included:

  • Future of Work with Robotics (Wendell Chun, University of Colorado)
  • Robotics for Nuclear Monitoring and Inspection (Thomas Scott, University of Bristol)
  • Delivering Business Benefit to UK Decommissioning Through Collaborative Innovation – Approach and Technologies (Darrell Morris, NDA).
Tom Scott Presentation.JPG
Darrell Presentation.JPG

After the sessions, there was an Evening Reception (sponsored by Westinghouse) of drinks and nibbles. This was interspersed with a sidebar meeting with Laurie Judd (L&A) and Ralf Borchardt (EWM) to gather information on Lessons Learned from Germany.

We were invited to to the UK DTI (actually it is now called the the DIT ) networking dinner. Unfortunately, they would not accept our potential US Client as a guest as they "weren't on the list" (and they had a very strict table allocation system) so we went somewhere else instead.

We ended up in Hanny's which is now a bar/restaurant but was originally a department store. It is quite famous for keeping some of the old features - an old elevator shaft, a strange basement with dolls, extremely decorated mannequins and very weird restrooms. A great place and very good food.