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An Underwater Robotic Network for Monitoring Nuclear Waste Storage Pools

Sarfraz Nawaz‚ Muzammil Hussain‚ Simon Watson‚ Niki Trigoni and Peter N. Green


Nuclear power provides a significant portion of our current energy demand and is likely to become more wide spread with growing world population. However, the radioactive waste generated in these power plants must be stored for around 60 years in underwater storage pools before permanent disposal. These underwater storage environments must be carefully monitored and controlled to avoid an environmental catastrophe. In this paper, we present an underwater mobile sensor network that is being developed to monitor these waste storage pools. This sensing system will also be used in very old storage pools to build maps of their internal structure which can then be used for waste removal and pool decommissioning. In this paper, we outline the unique challenges of our application scenario which include robot localization in cluttered underwater environments and the effect of location errors on environment mapping. We also list other industrial applications that can benefit from our underwater sensor network

Book Title
1st International ICST Conference on Sensor Systems and Software (SCUBE)