Pacific Nuclear Transport Limited is operated by Nuclear Transport Solutions (NTS), part of the UK’s Nuclear Decommissioning Authority. PNTL is part-owned by Orano (France) and a consortium of Japanese nuclear companies.
PNTL is the world’s most experienced shipper of nuclear cargoes and has three ships that are dedicated to transporting the highest classification (INF3) of nuclear material. This is a classification of the INF Code, which is set by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) of the United Nations. The INF Code regulates shipments by sea of used (spent) fuel, plutonium and highly radioactive waste.
PNTL has successfully completed over 200 shipments during the last 45 years, including:
- Used commercial nuclear fuel from Japan to ports in the UK and France
- Vitrified high-level waste (HLW) from France to Japan
- Mixed oxide (MOX) fuel from the UK and France to Japan
- Research reactor (Materials Test Reactor) used fuel from Japan and Europe to the United States
- Plutonium dioxide from the United States to Europe
In each case, the nuclear material is shipped in specially designed packages known as casks or flasks. More than 2,000 casks of nuclear material have been safely transported by PNTL.
The ships have safely covered millions of miles and there has never been a single incident resulting in the release of radioactivity.