VTT and FinNuclear orchestrated a rewarding online seminar and networking event called ‘dECOmm Business Day’ around topical issues in nuclear decommissioning and dismantling in September this year. The event drew over 150 international professionals to talk about the current drivers, trends, and challenges in the field, and to listen to keynote speeches from the prominent industry leaders. Great work!
As a part of the dECOmm research project, we at VTT are studying nuclear decommissioning and dismantling from the business perspective. To put it more precisely, we explore the developing nuclear decommissioning ecosystem and related business models of the Finnish companies (see also our previous blog Nuclear decommissioning business – What it takes to succeed?). Participating in the business day and listening to the discussions provided us some very nice insights to be utilized in our research.
To that end, it was particularly interesting to observe that the industry is constantly seeking the balance between old and new. Many proven technologies already exist and international actors offer various services and solutions. Also, leading companies are already capable of running successful decommissioning projects in many parts of the world. At the same time, technology providers and researchers are currently developing novel, innovative applications. For example, building information modelling, AR/VR, system integration, AI, and robot solutions arguably have the potential for boosting the decommissioning and dismantling operations, both in the planning and execution stages.
Moreover, it was evident that most of the actors, both suppliers and plant operators, are not aiming to work in isolation but instead are looking at partners to work with. Consequently, there seems to be considerable scope for new collaboration for companies ranging all the way from small SMEs to big multi-national corporations. Quite interestingly, innovative tendering processes also came up as one of those key enablers that have the potential for shaping the decommissioning business landscape.
To sum up, the nuclear decommissioning and dismantling is not rocket science for those who currently master it. But the industry definitely cries out for “rocket scientists” who are able to innovate new and put the latest technologies into practice. Here, we scientists, as well as the innovative companies participating in the dECOmm project, have our say. In addition to technological advances, there is a huge need for organizational innovations such as new business models, ecosystem-based collaboration, and innovative bidding processes. The market is already there and it keeps expanding – and without a doubt rewards those who can demonstrate their capabilities and seize their share of the market.
Research Scientist (”non-rocket”), VTT
WP3 leader (Decommissioning ecosystem and business models)