RETIINA, providing state-of-the-art virtual reality simulation technology

When tackling the most-difficult environmental challenges around the globe, the unknown is always one of the biggest impediments to success. While that may be the case with any business when you’re handling highly hazardous waste such as radiated materials, situational and operational knowledge becomes all the more mission critical.

To solve these challenges, Veolia Nuclear Solutions has concluded a new collaboration agreement  with Tree C Technology,  a developer of virtual reality (VR) simulators for industrial applications, to bring state-of-the-art virtual reality simulation technology to the global nuclear decommissioning market. Veolia clients and employees will be able to take advantage of technology that will both allow for the safe simulation of complex, remote-handling nuclear projects, and real-time visualization of the same projects once they go into the field.

An innovative collaboration agreement

The new collaboration is called RETIINA – real time interaction – and works by using virtual reality technology to create a working environment of a project site and allowing interactivity within the site in real time. By being able to see a site, even hostile sites suffering from high radiation or extreme temperatures, Veolia’s team of professionals can better understand the challenges or obstacles that are part of a particular project. They can test out and visualize different proposed remote-handling solutions in a safe and controlled virtual environment, and they can show clients well in advance of being on-site what the best remediation solution may be, and then provide operational support during live operations. RETIINA captures trailed and tested tools and methods used and developed by Veolia and Tree C over the past ten years.

Ultimately, Veolia Nuclear Solutions UK, Sales Director Mark Sharpe said , it’s about providing more confidence when we try to tackle some of the toughest environmental challenges faced around the globe.

When clients come to us, they ultimately want to know the answer to the question, ‘What is possible, what can we do here? That answer can be simple or complex, but by utilizing RETIINA we can recreate their exact scenario in a safe, cost-effective manner that allows us to assess and better deliver solutions. The result: more efficient, effective remediation.
Simon Delavalle
UK Engineering Director

Risk control before and during operations

RETIINA works especially well because it can provide value throughout the lifecycle of a project, particularly when combined with Veolia Nuclear Solutions’ design engineering and remote handling expertise. At the start of the project, RETIINA can be used to create a three-dimension reconstruction of an inaccessible site so that Veolia’s team of professional problem solvers can assess, react and identify potential pathways to a solution. Once they’ve identified potential solutions, the team can then virtually test out their approaches, timing then, subjecting them to feasibility and safety checks, and then make more-informed decisions about the pathway forward.

The RETIINA initiative is proved technology, transferred from the oil, gas and fusion industries, now building a track record  in nuclear decommissioning. RETIINA is already helping Veolia Nuclear Solutions tackle some of the most intensive environmental remediation issues being faced around the world. Specifically, Veolia’s RETIINA team is currently working on the remote investigation of the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant reactors in Japan, providing the team new insight into the challenges faced.

The breadth and depth of Veolia’s experience on challenging remote handling projects is unmatched across multiple industries. The effective delivery of our solutions have been used on some of the most publicized, mission critical projects worldwide such as those at Fukushima, Hanford and Sellafield.
Dexter is a Veolia Nuclear Solutions remote manipulator system developed from the Mascot system used by the Joint European Torus (JET) facility for over 20 years. It is similar to a standard Master-Slave Manipulator (MSM) in that it provides high degrees of dexterity and instantaneous force feedback.