Cerberus Nuclear attend ANSWERS Seminar

Cerberus Nuclear recently had the privilege of attending the 57th Meeting of The Shielding Forum and the 103rd Working Party on Criticality (WPC) meeting during the annual ANSWERS seminar held in Bournemouth. Over the course of three days, professionals from the nuclear sector gathered to discuss key topics such as radiation shielding, reactor physics, and nuclear criticality, as well as recent developments and applications of ANSWERS software.

A few members of the Cerberus Nuclear criticality team also had the opportunity to attend the criticality day of the ANSWERS seminar. The forums were a gathering of industry experts from a range of different companies and licenced sites, all sharing an interest of growth and innovation within industry.

We would like to extend a massive thank you to the team at Jacobs for hosting the conference in sunny and beautiful Bournemouth, and the Hilton for its fantastic facilities. The team left feeling excited for the challenges ahead and a renewed sense of motivation for our in-house innovation work. Here’s to many more inspiring conferences and memorable times!

The WPC is a formal sub-group of the Safety Directors Forum, with a focus on criticality safety issues, promoting co-operation nationally and internationally. Cerberus was delighted to attend the semi-annual WPC meeting, which is an invaluable platform to learn from industry experts while gaining insights into the latest advancements. There were engaging group discussions on key issues facing UK criticality and exciting potential solutions. Some members delivered fantastic presentations speaking about new advancements and future possibilities in the criticality sphere.

It was great to see Katrina Christaki in a key role as the WPC secretary, and we look forward to Cerberus Nuclear’s continued active participation in the group and sub-groups. A big thank you to the dedicated WPC Chair Fred Winstanley for ensuring a thought provoking and productive event.

The Shielding Forum plays a major role in the event schedule, aiming to promote industry good practice and provide authoritative advice on all matters related to radiation shielding. As long-time supporters of TSF, Cerberus Nuclear were delighted to participate and benefit from the expertise shared by industry leaders. The presentations covered a wide range of topics, including the shielding design basis, fusion, and technical discussions on the latest analysis codes used in industry.

With continued support, TSF promotes the training and development of radiation shielding practitioners to ensure that the UK is, and continues to be, a centre of excellence for radiation protection. Thank you to Anton Murfin, the chair of TSF, for organising an engaging and informative meeting. We look forward to maintaining our involvement with TSF in the future.

Revolutionising 3D Dose Rate Visualisation

Radiation Safety and Efficient Delivery

The nuclear industry is faced with the challenge of ensuring radiation safety and efficient delivery while dealing with the complexities of designing and operating nuclear facilities. In this context, dose rate visualisation plays a vital role in evaluating and visualising radiation sources and their impact on the surrounding environment. This information is crucial in making informed decisions to maintain a safe working environment for the workforce and the general public. 

However, traditional methods for dose rate visualisation often result in bottlenecks and inefficiencies in the workflow. To address these issues, Cerberus Nuclear is committed to revolutionising the field by developing cutting-edge tools that simplify the production of 3D dose rate contour visualisation. This approach will allow our radiation shielding assessors to perform accurate assessments quickly and effectively, leading to better outcomes for our clients. 

At Cerberus Nuclear, we understand the importance of dose rate visualisation and are dedicated to providing innovative solutions that address the challenges faced by our clients. Our goal is to streamline the process and make it easier to visualise dose rates in real-world applications, thereby improving the overall safety and efficiency of delivery. 


Cyclone: Streamline your Radiation and Criticality Workflows

Orthrus Software, a subsidiary of Cerberus Nuclear, introduces Cyclone TM, a modern and intuitive web-based software suite aimed at simplifying Monte Carlo workflows. This powerful tool is specifically designed for radiation and criticality problems and offers a range of features to help you visualise and analyse your data with ease. 

Cyclone has already been deployed across a wide range of dose-uptake assessments and has revolutionised the workflows of our in-house radiation assessors. With Cyclone, you can combine 3D MCNP geometry and dose rate contours with ease, enhancing your capabilities and improving your outcomes. For more information and instant sign up check out orthrussoftware.com.


Dynamic Radiation Assessments using Dose Time 

Dose Time TM focuses on revolutionising dose visualisation in the nuclear industry. It uses novel interpolation methods for the calculation and visualisation of dynamic 2D and 3D dose rate contour maps, providing an effective tool for visualising and calculating dose uptake in a variety of radiation scenarios. 

Let us transform how radiation assessments are performed with Dose Time and experience the benefits of efficient and effective dose rate visualisation. 


If you're interested in learning more about 3D dose rate visualisation, or if you have any questions, please don't hesitate to get in touch at nuclear@cerberusnuclear.com. Our team is always ready to assist and provide the right solution for your needs.

Cerberus Present at the American Nuclear Society Annual Meeting

We recently presented two papers at the American Nuclear Society Annual Meeting in Anaheim, California. The papers were presented within the Nuclear Criticality Safety Division (NCSD) Topical Meeting and were titled:

  • CARTA – Criticality Safety Virtual Reality Training Aid, Recent Developments.
  • Cyclone – Monte Carlo Data Processing and Visualization.

Katrina presented the CARTA paper and won the best paper award within the ‘Knowledge Transfer – Education, Professional Development, and Training’ track. The trophy (a prestigious NCSD thermos mug!) was presented at the NCSD awards dinner. The UK was well represented at the conference, with Katrina picking up her award alongside Amy van der Vyver from Sellafield Limited who presented a paper on the ‘UK Working Party on Criticality Webinar Series to Support Continuing Professional Development’. Liam Payne of Nuclear Waste Services (NWS) presented a UK perspective on Post-Closure Criticality Safety, and Alfie O’Neil from NNL presented a paper on Benchmark Experiments.

Cyclone and CARTA were really well received. Cyclone visualisation of MCNP models featured in a presentation by colleagues at the University of New Mexico. Stewart and Katrina were on hand with VR headsets to demonstrate CARTA, giving attendees the chance to (safely) cause a criticality in a glovebox.

Thanks to the ANS and, in particular, our colleagues within the NCSD who made us feel very welcome at the conference.

Cerberus Nuclear Support NNL Criticality Safety Training Course

We recently supported NNL with delivery of their UK Nuclear Criticality Safety Course. This is a long established training course in the UK and is supported by the University of New Mexico. Guest speakers from Sellafield Limited and ONR also contribute to the course.

Representatives from NNL have been key stakeholders in the development of CARTA, our criticality training application, via an Alpha Resilience and Capability (ARC) funded programme of work. Integration of CARTA into their criticality training course has been a key milestone for this programme of work and we were pleased to deliver this novel project on time.

At the criticality training course, we were delighted to see our ‘MAGIC MERV simulation’ being put into good effect in presentations regarding the factors that affect criticality. The ‘glovebox process simulation’ provided an interesting and lively group activity with the course instructors creating a series of challenging scenarios for the class to tackle. You can read more about the training simulations here.

In addition, Sam and Stewart were on hand to demonstrate the simulations in a Virtual Reality (VR) environment (both during the course and in the bar at the end of the day).

We would like to extend our thanks to NNL for their support in the development of this phase of the CARTA project and for hosting us on the course.

Completion of ARC funded CARTA Software

CARTA is criticality safety training software developed here at Cerberus Nuclear. Uniquely, CARTA displays a realistic value of k-effective as the user interacts with the simulation, either in a conventional first-person desktop format or Virtual Reality (VR) environment. The user can see, in real-time, the effect that their actions have on criticality safety. The CARTA methodology requires a multi-disciplinary approach, combining criticality safety calculations, machine learning and a gaming environment.

We have recently completed the software development for two training scenarios. This programme of work has been funded by the UK’s Alpha Resilience and Capability (ARC) programme.

The project has involved engagement with representatives from many of the ARC member organisations. This has given relevant stakeholders the opportunity to influence the functionality and appearance of CARTA as a training tool, prior to integration into training programmes within their own organisations. Two training simulations have been created:

This simulation is intended to be conceptual rather than realistic. It allows the maximum range of effects to be demonstrated, making it useful for training operators and assessors and also for wider stakeholder engagement.

Images of CARTA development. From concept through to the final product.

We are now looking at options for implementation at each of the various ARC member organisations including Sellafield Limited, AWE, NNL, Nuclear Waste Services, ONR and DSRL. If you work for any of these organisations and would like access to CARTA, then please get in touch (nuclear@cerberusnuclear.com).

We are now actively seeking organisations that would benefit from this particular software or bespoke criticality safety training scenarios using the CARTA methodology. If you would like to discuss your idea, please get in touch using nuclear@cerberusnuclear.com.

Orthrus Software

Cerberus Nuclear are pleased to announce that we have created a spin-off company called Orthrus Software. Orthrus specialises in engineering software tools and machine learning. Crucially, it will provide a platform for the release of Cyclone™.  

Cyclone is a suite of software utilities intended to facilitate file management, data management, and visualisation of Monte Carlo models and results. The various components of Cyclone™ have been developed over a number of years and greatly enhance our in-house calculation capability. 

Head over to the Orthrus website (www.OrthrusSoftware.com) to find out more.

ANDI: Sellafield Success Story

Cerberus Nuclear's ANDI (Automated Nuclear Damage Inspection) has been featured as a Sellafield Ltd success story.

As part of the latest update to the Sellafield opportunities guidance, Cerberus Nuclear has been featured within its SME action plan. The SME action plan reaffirms Sellafield's commitment to increase opportunities for SMEs within the supply chain recognising the adaptability, innovation and value that SMEs bring to help Sellafield deliver its mission.

As a public contracting authority Sellafield Ltd are committed to delivering activities which increase the opportunities for SMEs (small to medium enterprises) to do business with the supply chain. Sellafield have a target to spend 32 - 33% of supply chain spend with SMEs in 2021/22.

To find out more about how to do business with Sellafield go to https://www.gov.uk/guidance/how-to-do-business-with-sellafield-ltd

To learn more about ANDI and our latest developments combining computer vision with 360 video go to ANDI360.

 

ANDI: 360 Tracking

This is our latest post regarding our software ANDI (Automated Nuclear Damage Inspection) and incorporating identification capability with 360 video data.

The 360 camera sector has advanced significantly over the past few years, camera resolution and image quality has improved greatly as well as advancements in software processing to provide multiple different ways of viewing the captured images and video. Cerberus Nuclear has been keeping up to date with latest developments with an aim of using this technology in the nuclear sector.

Cerberus recently developed ANDI (Automated Nuclear Damage Inspection) for Sellafield Ltd. The software automatically identifies key areas of damage from inspection videos and is currently being used by Sellafield to accelerate damage inspection tasks. The software is built into a user-friendly interface and supports the creation of reports and logging of key identified features.

Building upon our knowledge we are currently testing the use of 360 camera and video data with our custom computer vision algorithms, including ANDI. Some key advantages of using 360 data for automated damage inspection is that the orientation of the inspection camera is no longer a factor as images capture the full 360 degrees.

Similar technology is currently being used in autonomous vehicles for object identification and distance determination.

Footage obtained from a Cerberus Nuclear test car.

Our preliminary testing has proved to be very successful and we have overcome some of the challenges inherent in working directly with 360 data sets. The prototype software we have created demonstrates the capability of combining both 360 image technology with our bespoke computer vision algorithms.

Our goal is to continue the development of ANDI so this highly useful and innovative technology can be put to good use solving a wide range of challenges in the nuclear sector and beyond.

Look out for future updates, if you would like to learn more don't hesitate to get in touch at nuclear@cerberusnuclear.com.

Sellafield LINC: Image Processing for Assessing Package Integrity

The Challenge

LINC with Sellafield Ltd is a scheme that encourages SMEs at local and national level to collaborate and deliver innovative solutions to support the mission at Sellafield. LINC challenge 42 was titled ‘Image Processing for Assessing Package Integrity using Machine Learning’ and set the challenge as follows:

“The long-term storage of nuclear waste is at the heart of the nuclear industry in the UK. As a requirement this material must be examined on a regular basis, which generates a vast amount of data to be reviewed. Presently this is done manually and takes a lot of time and is vulnerable to human error."

Cerberus Nuclear’s Data Science team proposed the development of software containing a trained machine learning computer vision model that would be capable of automatically recognising issues that could affect integrity of the package. Our team use the ‘Agile’ design methodology, which incorporates software testing in short, focused development cycles; ideal for the project.

We were delighted when Sellafield Ltd chose our solution ahead of some tough competition.

ANDI: Automated Nuclear Damage Inspection

ANDI is a high-quality user-friendly software program that utilises computer vision machine learning for automated identification of damage from externally supplied video.

The software allows detailed examination of product can inspection videos, automatically identifying damage such as scratches, dents and corrosion. The neural network within ANDI uses a cutting-edge R-CNN approach for image analysis and was trained using previous examples of damage.

Damage identified is highlighted within an embedded video player, which allows users to quickly skip to areas of interest and examine results frame by frame to inspect the exact moment(s) that damage has been detected. The confidence level of identified damage can be customised by the user with damage highlights switched on or off to assist with detailed inspection.

An integrated inspection report system was incorporated into the software to allow users to make notes and log frames for easy follow up review. The software also allows the processing of multiple batches of inspection videos with minimal user interaction. This allows the review of multiple processed results within a single session.

The algorithm for the Sellafield challenge uses an extension of the R-CNN called the Mask R-CNN. The R-CNN algorithm (Region based Convolutional Neural Network) can detect and classify objects within images, it focuses on variations of colour, texture and scale within an image to form a region.

“I really like the look and feel of the software and I’m impressed how well the neural network is identifying the key elements of damage, it’s very good!”

Gareth Myers, Technical Researcher, Project Lead, Sellafield Ltd

“We are delighted that Cerberus Nuclear helped make a difference at Sellafield Ltd. The Data Science team have delivered a great solution, bringing modern techniques to the nuclear industry.”

Daniel Cork, Director, Cerberus Nuclear

Sellafield Ltd are currently using ANDI to enhance their damage inspection workflow which, prior to using the software, had taken many man-hours to identify, categorise and log.

Cerberus Nuclear are proud to announce ANDI has recently been a key feature for inTechBrew. inTechBrew promotes the latest high Technology Readiness Level (TRL) nuclear industry innovations across UK and Europe.

Machine Learning
Computer Vision

Previously, the team developed a custom computer vision object identification algorithm to identify cars and lorries on a motorway using R-CNN object detection method.

The algorithm identified the number of objects, object type (car, lorry, etc.), object colour, object speed and confidence in match. In addition, a report was generated that summarised the information gathered over time. The development was to demonstrate validity of use for stopped car identification as well as traffic monitoring purposes.

The Sellafield Ltd LINC challenge aligned well with the previous development work already performed and paved the way for the creation of ANDI. Additional technical challenges such as variable lighting, frame blur and reflections had to be overcome as well as creating a custom user-friendly interface that met with Sellafield Ltd requirements. The processing time for the computer vision algorithm was also enhanced.

Cerberus Receives ARC Funding to Develop Criticality Safety VR Training Software

Cerberus Nuclear is a hub for innovation in criticality safety and radiation shielding and we are pleased to announce that we have made a successful application for funding from the UK’s Alpha Resilience and Capability (ARC) programme. ARC was created by BEIS (Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy) to ensure that the UK retains its world-leading alpha capabilities: from operations and maintenance, to high-end R&D and design. This cross-industry consortium includes the National Nuclear Laboratory, Sellafield Limited, AWE and ONR.

Over the last two years Cerberus Nuclear has developed CARTA, a concept for criticality safety VR (Virtual Reality) training software, which we successfully presented at ICNC2019. Uniquely, CARTA uses a machine learning algorithm to predict k-effective 'on the fly' for a given system, such as an alpha facility glovebox. When coupled to a VR headset, CARTA gives users an immersive experience of the facility environment and the effect of their actions on the system’s reactivity.

The ARC funding will support the next phase of development, to refine the concept into a software package for members of the ARC consortium to use. CARTA will deliver tangible benefits directly to operators on plant, criticality safety specialists and other stakeholders in criticality safety. The software package will use a variety of scenarios in desktop and VR environments, to provide intuitive user interfaces. The underpinning data will be based on accurate modelling of the neutron physics, providing a realistic environment for trainees to improve their understanding of the complexities associated with criticality safety.

The specifics of the training scenarios will be guided by a Technical Steering Committee, comprising stakeholders from the various ARC member organisations. This will ensure that the training scenarios are relevant and can be effectively integrated into their existing training programmes.

We are now actively seeking organisations that would benefit from bespoke criticality safety training scenarios. If you would like to discuss your idea, please get in touch using nuclear@cerberusnuclear.com.