The programme of returning solid Highly Active Waste (HAW) from Sellafield
to overseas customers has commenced.
The waste arises from the reprocessing of those customers’ used nuclear
fuel at Sellafield.
A single 113te flask, containing 28 stainless steel containers of solid
HAW, has been transported from the Sellafield site, on a specially
constructed rail wagon, to the port of Barrow.
It was transferred on to the Pacific Nuclear Transport Ltd (PNTL) vessel
the Pacific Sandpiper prior to its departure for Japan. The voyage, which
has now commenced, is scheduled to be completed by the end of March 2010.
Mike Johnson, Director of Waste and Effluent Disposition for Sellafield
Ltd, said: “This work, known in the UK as Vitrified Residue Returns
programme, will deliver on the Government’s policy and contractual
obligations for return of waste to overseas customers.”
Ian Hudson the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority’s Sellafield Programme
Director said: “The commencement of this first return of high level waste
to overseas customers is a significant milestone in meeting our contractual
commitments and delivering on Government policy. The delivery of this
programme is a prime example of high quality team working across the NDA
All of the transports of HAW to Japan will be delivered by International
Nuclear Services and its subsidiary, PNTL. PNTL has operated ships that
travelled for more than five million miles without any incident involving
the release of radioactivity.
In 2007 PNTL completed a programme of 12 similar HAW transports to Japan
for the French nuclear industry.
Mark Jervis, Managing Director of INS, said: “The waste is being
transported by sea which is a tried and tested method that is safe, highly
regulated and internationally approved.
“Japan will be the first customer to receive its HAW from the UK. The
detailed arrangements for the transport have been put in place through
discussions with customer and regulatory bodies in the UK and Japan.”
For more information contact Sellafield Ltd’s press office:
01925 834431/ 07738 039640