Project Services Ltd, part of the British Nuclear Group, is using aerial photographs from the 1940’s to manage, control and assess nuclear licensed sites prior to their development. The historic images have been supplied by aerial imaging company BlueSky to be used in conjunction with current day aerial photography for all UK sites managed and operated by Reactor Sites Ltd (part of British Nuclear Group). The digital imagery is being used within Project Services corporate GIS running across the company’s intranet to provide staff with access to detailed site information.
As the nuclear industry faces the challenges of ongoing power generation, decommissioning and clean-up, site management today and for future generations has been brought into sharp focus. Project Services’ new system will be made available to staff to provide a valuable asset management tool. It uses the power of GIS to allow users to select a site and even individual features (e.g. buildings, services, tunnels) visually and then drill down to layers of further information.
The historical aerial photography, taken from the RAF’s nationwide survey flown in 1946-7 provides valuable contextual information about each site showing for example where streams and drainage channels used to run before canalisation. The current aerial photography provides the modern day context enabling users to see what is actually on the ground rather than a series of building outlines provided by maps and plans. Past and present natural features continue to be important both to day-to-day site management and future development.