New PNTL vessel docks in Barrow

7 January 2011

Nuclear materials shipper International Nuclear Services (INS) has today welcomed its newest vessel, Pacific Grebe, to its home port of Barrow-in-Furness, UK.

Pacific Grebe is owned by INS’s subsidiary, Pacific Nuclear Transport Ltd (PNTL). It is the last of three new UK-flagged vessels ordered by PNTL to fulfil its commitments to transport nuclear fuel and nuclear waste from Europe to Japan over the next two decades.

This ship has been designed to carry nuclear cargoes and to comply with the UK’s Maritime and Coastguard Agency’s classification for an INF3 vessel, which indicates the quantity of nuclear material it is licensed to carry: irradiated nuclear fuel, high-level radwaste or plutonium, with no limit on the aggregate radioactivity carried. It is also designed to meet the Japanese regulator’s classification of Kaisa 520.

Pacific Grebe was preceded in 2008 by the Pacific Heron – which completed its second successful voyage to Japan last summer – and in September 2010 by the Pacific Egret. Both of these earlier vessels were designed specifically to carry mixed oxide fuel (MOX) to Japan. Pacific Grebe will carry high level waste.

Project manager of the new vessels, Pauline Woods, said: “The new design incorporates all of the high standards of their predecessors, while using new technologies in the construction and installation of equipment and systems. They have significant efficiency improvements and meet the environmental requirements appropriate to vessels of this size, while setting new standards in nuclear maritime transport.”

Pacific Grebe is scheduled to enter full service in 2011.

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