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Looking to expand the capability and scale of operations of the UK’s largest nuclear facility in the northwest of England, Sellafield Ltd has signed BT to provide network services covering the running and maintenance of the company’s entire network services, as well as upgrades and updates to current equipment.
Sellafield Ltd employs around 11,000 people who work at the West Cumbrian nuclear site, known as Windscale when it came onstream in the 1950s, and a number of off-site offices in Cumbria and Warrington. Its role encompasses cleaning up the UK’s highest nuclear risks and hazards, along with safeguarding nuclear fuel, materials and waste. The company sees its future role as being at the forefront of engineering, innovation, project management and leading-edge support functions.
It is currently investing in what it claims will be the largest portfolios of complex major projects in the country, creating the facilities it needs for the next stage of its purpose. This will take the form of £8bn worth of new waste management facilities and manufacturing tens of thousands of waste containers, while also reducing the company’s carbon footprint.
The five-year deal between BT and Sellafield Ltd has a value of £32m and is one of a number that Sellafield Ltd is letting as part of its multi-supplier model for ICT delivery. The model is designed to improve the flexibility and agility of the company’s IT services and will see new tools, technologies and capabilities brought to the Sellafield facility.
The deal with BT will include wide and local area network services, core and gateway services, as well as audio and conferencing, telephony and cyber security. The BT network will incorporate Wi-Fi, a unified communications programme to consolidate conferencing solutions such as Microsoft Teams and Skype, and in-built security to enable the handling and processing of sensitive data.
Upgrades to the network will also enable Sellafield Ltd to take advantage of new technologies such as the internet of things (IoT) and 5G in the future. As part of the contract, BT has also agreed to provide £2m in funding for local social value initiatives in the West Cumbria area which will be distributed using the expertise of the Sellafield Ltd social impact team to activities that align with their “social impact multiplied” strategy.
“We are really pleased to have secured this major contract with Sellafield Ltd and look forward to working in partnership with them to create a network that is secure, fast, reliable and future-proofed, with the added capability to overlay new technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), 5G and IoT in the future,” commented Ashish Gupta, managing director for corporate and public sector in BT’s Enterprise unit.
“In a major boost for the local area, not only will we deliver digital transformation for Sellafield as part of the contract, but we’ll also provide a significant boost to the local community. Over the life of the partnership, we will be investing £2m into West Cumbria to help tackle the causes of inequality among the area’s most vulnerable people.”
Sellafield Ltd’s social impact manager, Tracey West, said: “It is really positive to see such a significant commitment from BT as part of this contract to support the delivery of our Social Impact Multiplied programme. I am looking forward to working with BT to maximise the local impact from its financial contribution.”