The final shipment of radioative waste from the Dounreay nuclear site in Caithness to Belgium has been completed.
The waste was generated from reprocessing 240 spent test reactor fuel from Belgium's BR2 reactor in the 1990s.
Under the contract between BR2 operator SCK/CEN and UKAEA, the then Dounreay site operator, the fuel was dissolved and the re-usable uranium separated from the waste fission products and turned into new fuel. The higher activity liquid waste was conditioned and solidified in cement inside 500-litre stainless steel drums.
Part of the Dounreay site closure programme involves closing the historic contracts and returning the waste to the customers where feasible, under the return of waste clause in the reprocessing contracts.
DSRL said it worked in partnership with SCK-CEN, the Belgian Authorities and the transport company Transnubel to establish the necessary arrangements and authorisations, and to demonstrate compliance with the stringent Belgian conditions of acceptance for the waste.
The 21st shipment in December completed the repatriation of the 123 drums of waste that began in August 2012.
Photo: Final waste shipment was completed in December 2014 (Source: DSRL)