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Digital Catapult and Sellafield Ltd join forces with two innovative startups to create a trusted training record and build a secure and safe waste data tracking system

Posted 24 Feb 2021

Digital Catapult and Sellafield Ltd have selected two innovative startups, Condatis and Jitsuin, to implement advanced digital technology solutions to support the nuclear industry to continue to monitor skills within the sector, and to provide a trusted and secure record for tracking hazardous waste and materials.

As part of Digital Catapult’s Field Labs initiative, Sellafield Ltd will exploit Digital Catapult’s expertise in implementing emerging technology in commercial environments to help maintain Sellafield Ltd’s highest safety and security standards, using the latest technology in an agile and adaptive way. Condatis and Jitsuin will receive funding of £130k to help evolve their solution to be put into action to solve the real world challenge. Both of the solutions will help to demonstrate the value of distributed systems technologies, and be easily, safely and securely implemented by Sellafield Ltd, and potentially the wider Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) estate.

Dr Robert Learney, Head of Technology, Distributed Systems, at Digital Catapult, said: “There are wide ranging benefits that distributed ledger technologies can bring to the nuclear industry from securely tracking and monitoring high value assets to ensuring the safety of the workforce on site, and we’re really excited to be partnering with Sellafield Ltd on this ground breaking project. The two startups we’ve selected are providing cutting edge solutions to help tackle real life business critical challenges, both of which can make a tangible impact on the UK’s nuclear industry.”

Sellafield Ltd Chief Technology Officer, Duncan Steel said: “This engagement through Digital Catapult cements Sellafield’s commitment to explore and exploit cutting edge technologies in our pursuit of mission efficiency, as well as ensuring we’re assisting new startups within the Tech sector. Growing the spread of digital within our business is key to ensuring that we maintain a fresh perspective on how our capability can keep pace with the modern world ”

Condatis will work to ensure trusted and verifiable personnel records are available to all relevant stakeholders within the Sellafield Ltd and the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority estate, using digital technologies. The ultimate goal is to create a nuclear passport system which guarantees a highly mobile, highly skilled, and highly secure workforce.

Jitsuin’s solution will provide a single source of truth across the lifecycle of hazardous waste and its container, from generation through to eventual disposal via geological storage. The records associated with the container (including its manufacture) and the waste itself, create a requirement for accurate, reputable data that can be accessed throughout the waste management lifecycle by all relevant parties.

CEO of Condatis, Chris Tate said: “We are delighted at Condatis to be working with Sellafield and Digital Catapult to develop and integrate our solution based on decentralized identity, a new technology which we are experts in. The Nuclear staff passport enables Sellafield’s highly skilled staff to swiftly move between locations and provide records of essential training and certifications to carry out their specialised work. We look forward to hitting the ground running with this project and support Sellafield through this new identity journey.

Jon Geater, Chief Technology Officer & Co-Founder at Jitsuin, said: “Jitsuin Archivist is built on blockchain to boost control, accountability, and trust for businesses that share critical asset information. We are excited to work with Sellafield to prove our easy-to-adopt APIs build confidence through assured provenance of shared data for all in the nuclear sector.”

Digital Catapult’s Field Labs offer businesses the opportunity to explore how distributed ledger technologies, such as blockchain, can address commercial and operational challenges, and help to build trust and instil confidence. Field Labs are purposely designed to allow for de-risked experimentation with distributed systems technologies so that organisations like Sellafield Ltd can deploy solutions and test the latest technologies on real-world challenges in a safe and secure way.

Find out more about Digital Catapult’s Field Labs here, and more about Sellafield Ltd here.


About the challenges:

  • Challenge One – nuclear skills. With more than 11,000 employees at Sellafield Ltd, and thousands of people in the supply chain, ensuring transparency of the skills and training of those on site is of utmost importance. This challenge was about creating a skills ledger for tracking information such as radiological exposure and level of competency, training and access. The nuclear workforce is highly skilled but as the requirements at Sellafield Ltd begin to change, the skills requirements of employees are also changing, and keeping a secure and irrefutable training record is paramount.

  • Challenge Two – waste data tracking. Nuclear waste containers are high value and highly regulated assets. The nuclear industry currently relies on paper-based processes and human verification throughout the lifecycle of each waste container. The challenge was to use advanced digital technologies to create a secure, irrefutable way of maintaining the integrity of this data across extended timelines (from decades to centuries) whilst ensuring visibility for multiple stakeholders and organisations.