In order to benefit from obvious synergies, NUVIA and the CEA initiated a close collaboration in 2016 under the form of a joint laboratory. This fruitful partnership, which has already been renewed in 2019 for a three-year period, focused on two major thematic fields: the detection of beta emitters in a gamma environment and the detection of radioactive neutron/gamma sources.
A tangible result of this collaboration is the industrial transfer of new formulations of plastic scintillators (sensors based on materials sensitive to ionising radiation), finalised in 2018. A second success is a beta contamination monitor suitable for use in high gamma background, currently in the pre-commercialisation phase. In addition, several other industrial transfers are already under discussion.
For NUVIA, which provides innovative engineering solutions, services and products for the nuclear environment, the devices currently used in the field of radiation protection, whilst efficient, suffer from several limitations. For instance, to detect a specific type of radioactive radiation in an environment that is heavily noisy due to other ionising radiation, or to analyse very large contaminated surfaces such as those in dismantling sites. The obsolescence of certain equipment is also a major concern.
The CEA, in particular through its CEA-List institute, a specialist in intelligent digital systems, has been developing an innovative approach to nuclear instrumentation for many years. Its originality lies in its duality, i.e. the functional modification of both the sensor (scintillator) and the associated detector (prototype device). CEA-List is one of the few institutes in the world with the capacity to develop this offer in the nuclear field, thanks to the recognised multidisciplinary skills of its teams in chemistry, physics and digital electronics.
These successes have encouraged the two partners to renew their joint laboratory for the second time, until 2024, to continue their developments in the service of radiation protection and the safety of nuclear operators.
“The joint laboratory with CEA-List is the driving force of innovation for our NUVIATech Instruments business and enables us to provide our customers with disruptive solutions in our markets. The skills of our respective teams are perfectly matched and when we optimise our own scintillators, develop new algorithms and combine them with state-of-the-art electronics, we come up with unique nuclear measurement products that are totally in line with our innovation strategy. I am therefore delighted to renew our confidence in CEA-List and extend our collaboration once again,” explains Bruno Lancia.
“The renewal of the joint laboratory with our partner NUVIA is a great mark of confidence in the skills of the CEA-List teams and its technologies. We are delighted with the duration of this partnership, which testifies to the CEA’s ability to support its industrial partners on a long-term basis,” enthuses Alexandre Bounouh.
Drawing on its experience in the nuclear industry, NUVIA supports its industrial clients in sensitive and highly regulated environments throughout the life cycle of their installations. NUVIA operates in numerous business sectors, including nuclear energy, civil and military defence, health and the environment, offering its clients a full range of support services, engineering and the products necessary for the design, construction, operation and dismantling of their industrial installations. NUVIA works alongside its clients, guaranteeing the best levels of safety and performance to build a safer, cleaner and sustainable world.
NUVIA is a subsidiary of the specialty networks of VINCI Construction, a global leader in construction.
The CEA is a key player in research, development and innovation in four main areas: energy transition, digital transition, technology for the medicine of the future and defense and security.
As the only French public research institute listed among the Top 100 Global Innovators (Derwent 2018-19), the CEA acts as catalyst and driving force for innovation to boost French industry. We help businesses in all sectors be more competitive, creating high-performance products that stand out from the crowd and developing trail-blazing solutions that lead to changes in our society. We deploy this dynamic approach at sites all over France, aiding local partners to innovate themselves, thus helping to create sustainable value and jobs nationwide, tailored to meet actual industry needs.
Alongside this, the CEA provides more than just a kick-start to our 222 startups, agile vectors for transferring the disruptive technology and knowledge developed at our laboratories to industry.