Japanese shipbuilders Mitsui Engineering and Shipbuilding Co., Ltd has clinched the contract to design and build a new INF 3 class vessel for the Pacific Nuclear Transport Limited (PNTL) fleet following an extensive 11 month tender exercise.

The new ship is expected to be delivered in November 2007 and its home port will be Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria.

British Nuclear Group’s Head of International Transport (who is also Director and General Manager of PNTL) Captain Malcolm Miller, said: “We are delighted to announce that Mitsui Engineering and Shipbuilding Co., Ltd has been selected to design and build the new vessel at Tokyo Head offices and Tamano shipyard in Japan.

“The new vessel will form part of an ongoing commitment to provide a dedicated specialist nuclear transport operation. The PNTL fleet has an exemplary record with over five million miles travelled without any incident resulting in the release of radioactivity. The new ship will enhance and extend our capability even further.”

The new ship is being constructed as part of an ongoing review of options for the PNTL fleet and will ensure that suitable vessels are available to carry out any future transports of nuclear material from Europe to Japan.

British Nuclear Group’s International Transport business, on behalf of PNTL, undertook a formal tender process to select a construction company. A notice was published in October 2004 in the Official Journal of the European Union inviting expressions of interest from shipbuilders.

From the tenders which followed Mitsui were successful having met all the required criteria including technical capability, programme, cost, quality and security.

Mitsui issued a statement saying: “We are delighted to be building a ship for PNTL, the world’s most experienced shipper of nuclear cargoes. With a thirty-year record of reliability and a special focus on safety, we are proud to be working with a company that has earned a reputation for utmost dependability and for having ships that are among the safest on the seas today.”

PNTL ships are dedicated to the transportation of nuclear material and are classified by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) of the United Nations at its highest INF 3 class.

The new vessel will be a development on the design of the current PNTL ships which provide a safe and reliable service with the cargo compartments protected by a double hull configuration together with back-up availability of all essential systems.

For more information contact:

British Nuclear Group Communications
Alison Langford
+44 (0)1925 835187

Steve Barnes
+44 (0)1925 833249

Janine Claber
+44 (0)1925 832146

Notes to editors

About PNTL

Pacific Nuclear Transport Limited’s ships are dedicated to the transportation of nuclear material that is classified by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) of the United Nations at its highest level of INF 3 class. The INF Code regulates shipments by sea of packaged irradiated nuclear fuel, plutonium and high level radioactive wastes.

PNTL has successfully completed over 170 shipments in the last 30 years. In each case, the nuclear material is shipped in specially designed packages known as casks or flasks. The ships have safely covered more than 5 million miles and there has never been a single incident resulting in the release of radioactivity. Over 2,000 casks of nuclear material have been safely transported by PNTL.

PNTL is a subsidiary company of International Nuclear Fuels Limited, within the British Nuclear Group group of companies. The other shareholders of PNTL are Cogema logistics SA and a consortium of Japanese power companies and Trading companies.

About British Nuclear Group

Following the transfer of BNFL’s UK assets to the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) on 1 April 2005, BNFL established British Nuclear Group as a legal entity focusing on nuclear site management, decommissioning and clean-up services.

Employing 15,000 people British Nuclear Group is a management and operations contractor delivering accelerated clean-up programmes safely and cost-effectively to the NDA.

British Nuclear Group is contracted to procure, manage and operate the PNTL fleet on behalf of PNTL.

For more information:
Visit British Nuclear Group website
Visit PNTL website