Nuclearis, a global engineering and manufacturing firm headquartered in Buenos Aires, has confirmed the successful first use of blockchain for tracing documents in the supply chain for nuclear power plants. RSK, the smart contract platform powered by the Bitcoin blockchain, is the technology of choice for the firm.
IOVLabs, which operates RSK and the RSK Infrastructure Framework (RIF), has been working with Nuclearis on developing the solution into a tool which will later be open sourced and available for the entire nuclear industry supply chain as well.
Of all the use cases touted for blockchain, supply chain track and trace has proven to be among the most robust. Therefore, it seems unsurprising that the nuclear sector is now looking to the technology to meet its complex legal requirements. Nuclear power is in increasing demand due to the climate imperative to shift away from high-carbon fuels. The number of power plants across the world is set to increase by nearly 35% over the next 30 years, from 440 to 590.
Stringent Legal Obligations for Traceability
Due to the high level of risk involved in handling nuclear materials, international laws place stringent requirements on operators in the sector. In the supply chain, every component involved in the construction and maintenance of a power plant must be documented in hard copy, including all data regarding aspects such as calibration and material certificates.
Nuclearis is one of the firms at the forefront of blockchain adoption, helping to increase trust between firms in the sector. The company has successfully trialed the use of RSK to upload track and trace documents for nuclear plant components to the blockchain, with each document assigned a unique hash. This means it’s completely traceable and cannot be forged or otherwise tampered with. Furthermore, once it’s uploaded, it can’t be lost or damaged with the passage of time.
In light of the growth plans and increasing reliance on nuclear energy, Nuclearis foresees that this supply chain solution could be applied across the entire sector, creating a single source of truth for all firms operating in the space. Nuclearis is also developing multiple protocols and services based on blockchain technology under a banner it dubs “NuclearTech.”
Blockchain in Biofuel Production
Blockchain in renewable energy supply in the Latin American region appears to be gaining traction. In a separate initiative that was announced this month, government and industry leaders in Brazil are assessing the use of blockchain to help traceability in the production of biofuels.
Brazil is now the world’s biggest producer of soybean crops and the third-largest producer of corn. Along with food supply, both are used in the production of biofuels. There are tens of thousands of growers in Brazil and tracing the production of any given fuel back to an individual grower is extremely challenging. However, the lack of any working system to trace products means that biofuel mills miss out on the carbon credits for which they’re eligible for their role in producing clean fuel.
Once again, a blockchain-based traceability solution could prove to be the answer. Such a system would allow any given biofuel mill to trace back to any one of up to 20,000 growers, enabling them to claim their carbon credits.