Ada Mode developed Sellafield's first AI strategy and adoption roadmap. The strategy outlines a set of ambitious objectives to support the adoption of AI at one of Europe's most complex and hazardous industrial sites.
Sellafield is facing up to the challenge of cleaning-up its legacy – the ponds and silos full of waste created by the site’s early operations, including some of the most hazardous nuclear facilities in Europe. Robots, autonomous systems and AI are expected to be at the forefront of delivering this and accelerating Sellafield’s eventual goal of creating a clean and safe environment for future generations.
In order to realise the potential benefits of AI and to guide adoption, Sellafield required the development of a coherent and holistic, long term AI strategy and a supporting roadmap and plan. This required close engagement with the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) who were simultaneously developing their own strategy to supporting and regulating the use of AI in civil nuclear.
Ada Mode undertook a rigorous discovery process which comprised a detailed document review, in-depth one-to-one interviews with over 50 senior stakeholders and an online AI survey available to all Sellafield employees. The aim of this work was to capture information from people working across the organisation, ONR and wider NDA group, to establish a deep understanding of perceptions, opportunities, hurdles, concerns, and ideas associated with AI adoption at Sellafield.
The findings from this work, coupled with experience from other nuclear projects, enabled Ada Mode to develop a comprehensive AI strategy which focused on 5 key pillars – education, digital, data, building a central AI capability and regulation. The strategy is publicly available on gov.uk. here.
The strategy was accompanied by a detailed implementation plan which is now being deployed across Sellafield and the wider NDA. Sellafield are now in a strong position to adopt AI technology in a structured, safe and sustainable way to accelerate the clean-up mission, optimise operations and drive greater automation to remove people from harm. Detailed enabling activities have been planned to support widescale AI adoption over a 10-year time horizon.