Spot's Walkabout at Sellafield

RACE Supports Createc for Spot's Active Sellafield Deployment


Sellafield’s remediation teams are leading on Spot’s deployment for Sellafield Ltd, working with Cumbria-based engineering consultant Createc, the UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) and its US manufacturers Boston Dynamics.

Spot the robot dog made its debut on the Sellafield site in October 2021 where it undertook 3 days of successful trials at Calder Hall and has once again been going through its paces by completing its first shift within an active area.

Project details

Valuable information was collected through laser scanning and gamma radiation imaging using a system provided by Createc.

The robot completed its work wearing a suit specially designed & manufactured at the UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) which protected it from any radioactive contamination. This was provided via the National Nuclear User Facility for Hot Robotics (NNUF-HR)

Chris Hope, remediation capability development manager, Sellafield Ltd said: 

This was a really challenging task – we deployed Spot into a complex, cluttered, highly contaminated area with a mission to capture information. 

The quality of the data we captured is fantastic and will help us with our decommissioning and waste planning. 

Until now, this type of survey has relied on our operators manually deploying equipment in hazardous environments wearing full protective equipment. 

This proves that Spot can help us take humans away from harm. This allows us to free up our workers to deliver other value adding work. 

The protective suit did its job too – the robot was monitored and cleared by our health physics team, and was able to leave the Sellafield site. 

Looking ahead

Guy Burroughes, senior control systems engineer at UKAEA, said: 

We’ve been using Spot for over a year in our work to develop robotics for challenging environments like nuclear facilities. 

We were delighted to bring this experience to support the trials at Sellafield and hope it can lead to safer, more efficient decommissioning. 

Book this equipment