ThinkOTB Agency

Helping Sellafield move heavy things more safely

Our challenge

ThinkOTB has worked with Sellafield to deliver projects that have helped change culture and embed an innovation mindset. Key to any innovation challenge is asking the right question at the start to avoid creating an expensive solution that’s not right.

Our creative thinking

Flasks at Sellafield don’t hold tea. They hold 50 tonnes of nuclear waste and are transported around using cranes. If the Sellafield project is to last 100 years, these cranes need maintaining or they will fail. Maintenance is expensive and risky, so the Flask Maintenance Capability Projects (FMCP) were having innovation conversations about what could replace the cranes. ThinkOTB stepped in and re-framed the question to be “How might we move heavy things more safely?”.

That was the pivot point in their thinking. We gave the FMCP team innovation training, facilitated workshops and shared our innovation techniques and experience in a comprehensive guide.

The new question led to new ideas, including trolleys, air skids, moving buildings, Maglev trains and remote-controlled transporters. The transporters ticked many critical success factors including cost savings, less maintenance, and a lower Health and Safety risk because they’re not moving 50 tonnes of nuclear waste at height.

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