A twelfth shipment of vitrified waste to Japan will leave Cherbourg on February 8th, 2007.

6 casks containing 130 canisters of vitrified waste will be loaded on the Pacific Sandpiper.
Reprocessing used nuclear fuel recovers 97% of valuable, reusable material and separates out the remaining 3%, which is waste. The waste is conditioned by turning it into a solid glass form by a process called vitrification.

This type of shipment follows the completion of different operations and is part of the contracts signed between the Japanese electric utilities, AREVA NC and British Nuclear Group for the reprocessing of Japanese spent nuclear fuel:

– Transport from Japan to Europe of Japanese spent nuclear fuel,
– Reprocessing of this fuel in France and in the UK,
– Return shipment to the country of origin of the waste separated by reprocessing operations.

The first return shipment of waste was carried out in 1995. Ten others were performed between 1997 and 2006.

The reprocessing operations and the shipments of both spent fuel and waste comply with national and international regulations.

The ships transporting the materials have safely covered more than five million miles and there has never been a single incident resulting in the release of radioactivity.

In Cherbourg, media and press representatives will be welcomed by AREVA NC at the Mercure hotel on February 8th at 6:00 am (French time) for being transported and accompanied collectively to the harbour loading area.

The route used and the approximate date of arrival to Japan will be released following the departure.

More details on the operations of British Nuclear Group, AREVA NC and ORC and the transport of nuclear materials can be gained by accessing the following websites:


AREVA NC point of contact:

Mr. Christophe Neugnot –
+33 2 33 02 63 22

TN International point of contact:

Mr. Michel Hartenstein –
+33 1 39 48 72 82 /+33 6 08 76 16 76