Responsive’s radiological testing lab provides innovative solution to nuclear industry shielding


WHEN a nuclear operator analysed data from plugs removed from a radiation cell’s shielding wall it found a discrepancy between the weights.

The different readings begged the question whether there was a problem in terms of the integrity of the shielding plugs.

The plugs are removable to allow radioactive cells on a nuclear site to be accessed, such as with robotic tools.

But due to the nature of them forming part of the shielding wall it is vital they offer the same high level of shielding integrity as the cell wall itself

It’s the type of problem which due to the hazardous nature of the industry can only be solved by experts using specialist techniques and equipment.

Responsive Ltd stepped up to the plate and within 12-hours of being given the go-ahead to look at the problem at its specialist radiological testing lab, had analysed the issue and filed a report on its findings with the operator.

At its specialist radiation bay, Responsive carried out gamma-scintillation testing of the radiation cell’s shielding wall plugs to find out whether material inside had suffered any shrinkage.

Responsive CEO Lee Grears said: “We have been working with the nuclear industry for a number of years and are hugely experienced in this type of work.

“With integrity paramount when dealing with any such equipment for a nuclear site we are able to use our expertise and specialist testing facility to provide answers to those questions which the industry poses.”

Responsive is highly-regarded across the UK for being an industry leader in both non-destructive and destructive testing, mechanical testing and material analysis services.

It is well-known for its fast, reliable response to provide testing, welding, and painting inspection services to a range of sectors including nuclear, marine, petrochemical, engineering and construction sectors across the UK.

Qualified to nuclear standards, integrity, quality, accountability and reliability are at the core of its operations.

Responsive has 14 highly qualified inspectors among its 18-strong team operating across the North of England, from bases in Cumbria and Manchester.

Lee said: “Because we are vastly experienced in working to nuclear standards our customers know that integrity, quality and reliability are paramount.

“When it comes to the testing of equipment we know that for the industries we work with lives are often at stake. That’s why integrity is everything.

“For us, that accountability is at the core of what we do, and we approach every assignment with that responsibility at the forefront of our minds.”

Gamma monitoring and surveys for nuclear transport packages, Stainless Steel ultrasonic testing, Magnetic Testing, Dye Penetrant Testing, are just some of the services the company provides.

Responsive operates a large testing compound which offers 24-hour support to the nuclear, oil and gas, marine, engineering and construction industries.

The Responsive Mechanical Testing arm of the company operates a lab for testing and monitoring the point at which materials are destroyed so it is able to precisely analyse the tolerance levels of equipment, products and materials for customers.

Techniques cover everything from chemical analysis positive material identification using Optical Emission Spectrometry (OES) through to Charpy, Tensile or Hardness testing of materials.

Lee said: “Our team can also tailor the ideal destructive testing method, or combination of tests, to ensure the absolute integrity of a customer’s components, materials and products.”

Responsive also has a training arm – Responsive Training Services – and recently set up start-up business Flawed to supply components with hidden defects for training and testing, both in-house and for external markets.

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