With the conference focused on robotics and remote access, the Veolia Nuclear Solutions team was able to showcase its tailored technological capabilities in handling the most challenging hazardous waste issues around the world. With the Veolia Nuclear Solutions team making a major statement at WMS 2018, we spoke to Marc Rood, vice president of Veolia Nuclear Solutions’ technology business lines, to discuss the company’s presence at the conference.
Q: The Waste Management Symposia annually brings together the leaders of the global radioactive waste industry. What was the Veolia Nuclear Solutions message to attendees this year? What did you hope to highlight?
A: From a topline perspective, our team continued to highlight what many in the industry have learned over the last several years: Veolia Nuclear Solutions includes the most comprehensive range of technologies, expertise and services for facility restoration, decommissioning and the treatment of low- and intermediate-level radioactive waste.
Beyond that, the theme of this year’s conference was robotics. We are making a statement that we are the premier company in the world when it comes to the cutting edge technology needed to tackle the toughest nuclear waste challenges around the globe. We exhibited a significant amount of equipment at the conference, including systems from the U.K. and U.S., that demonstrate our expertise in remote handling and capabilities. Dexter, our remote manipulator system, is a good example of our capabilities.
Q: With this year’s WMS conference focused on “Robotics, Remote Systems and other Emerging Technologies,” talk about Veolia Nuclear Solution’s offerings in this space. How does the company set itself apart from its peers?
A: Globally, Veolia is at the forefront in dealing with the most decommissioning issues in the industry, including the Fukushima site in Japan. For instance, our Fukushima Inspection and Repair Manipulators (FIM and FRM) are pragmatic solutions to solve problems leveraging fit-for-purpose engineering approach. Beyond that, we’re also delivering state-of-the-art system solutions at key sites in Canada, the U.S., U.K. and France. We’re creating bespoke solutions tailored to our clients’ needs that can succeed with the most challenging projects facing the industry today. No other company can claim that sort of bandwidth and success across so many multiple international markets. It goes without saying, but in this particular industry, Veolia is the world leader, bar none.
Q: What is your outlook for how technology can change the way we tackle hazardous and radioactive industrial waste?
A: I think the key thing is that from a global perspective, the industry is getting more comfortable with the fact that innovative technologies are available, continue to advance, and that some of the capabilities that were once seen as impossible are now a reality. Advances in technology are having a profound impact across the industry, from safety culture to quality of work and the problems we can tackle. We’re at the cusp of a new day in technology and its impact on the nuclear waste industry, so it’s imperative we educate the industry that these innovative solutions are now available to solve these challenging problems.
Q: Finally, can you explain how Veolia Nuclear Solution’s expertise in robotics and access benefits clients and partners on a project?
A: Ultimately, clients come to us when they have a significant problem and don’t necessarily have a good answer to solve that problem. They look for us to provide the expertise and to provide the innovation and technology that is frequently a missing piece of the puzzle. And frequently, it’s more than just the technology piece. It’s about who they can trust to deliver on these types of projects in a way that ensures the highest level of safety, is cost effective, and finishes ahead of schedule. Because of our proven track record and capabilities, that sets up apart from others.