Innovative approach to obsolescence
Driving value through innovative approaches at AWE
In 2014, JCS announced an upgrade to the long-established neutron monitor, the NMS017ng which is the standard neutron dose rate instrument for AWE – where JCS is a preferred supplier of scintillation detectors, electronics, shielding solutions and radiation monitoring equipment for health physics applications.
On a site the size of AWE, where many 100’s, if not 1000’s of measurement instruments need to be maintained and calibrated on a regular basis. Standardisation of radiation protection instrumentation is a key principle, where through-life support costs are strictly measured and scrutinised.
For over 40 years, we have enjoyed a positive and collaborative relationship with AWE, and this was instrumental in our suggestion of an innovative approach to the upgrade of our neutron monitors. The most expensive component part of the NMS017ng neutron monitor is the specialised moderator assembly including the He3 detector at its centre. By recycling this assembly, JCS would be able to offer AWE a cost-effective upgrade of our neutron monitors and save AWE significant capital costs.
AWE has a dedicated instruments maintenance and calibration facility, where the team has an intrinsic knowledge of all instruments supported on site, including the NMS017ng. So together, JCS and AWE devised a method for upgrading the instruments in-house at AWE, in conjunction with a training and support programme provided by JCS. The team at AWE confirmed that their fleet of suitable NMS017ng instruments were all calibrated and 100% functional before the upgrade programme commenced and the final QA was held at AWE after the upgrade.
This upgrade initiative at AWE has been a resounding success and ultimately provided considerable value to the customer. AWE now have a stable and supported fleet of cutting-edge JCS neutron dose equivalent monitors, up-issued to the latest model NMS017ng3.
The NMS017NG3 is the latest generation of neutron monitor from John Caunt Scientific Ltd. It is a battery-powered hand-held neutron survey monitor that provides ambient dose equivalent measurements from thermal to 14MeV neutrons.