Swedish nuclear fuel and waste management company, SKB has used a new ship - Sigrid - to transport radioactive material for the first time.
The INF3 ship, which is certified to carry irradiated nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste (HLW), was used to transport spent nuclear fuel assemblies from the Ringhals nuclear plant on Sweden's west coast to the interim spent fuel storage facility, Clab, on the opposite coast in mid-January 2014.
The first shipment comprised 64 Atrium 10B boiling water reactor (BWR) fuel assemblies. The fuel was transported in four type B(M) TN17/2 transport casks, SKB said.
Sigrid will be used to transport radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel between Swedish nuclear power plants and SKB's facilities. It will replace the 30-year old ship M/S Sigyn, which SKB's managing director Christopher Eckerberg described as "the hub of SKB's transport system."
Since most Swedish nuclear facilities are situated on the coast, transport of materials between them is largely by sea.
Sigrid: two years in the making
Sigrid began construction in 2011 at the shipyard in Galati, Romania, and was completed in autumn 2013. It arrived in Sweden in December 2013, after a one-month trip along the Danube, out to the Black Sea, across the Mediterranean and then up to Rotterdam.
Sigrid will take over from M/S Sigyn, which was commissioned in 1982. It will be used to transport radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel between Swedish nuclear power plants and SKB's facilities.
Sweden has ten reactors in operation at three nuclear plants sites: Forsmark, Ringhals and Oskarshamn. Spent fuel from all the reactors is stored in spent fuel pools at Clab, on the same site as the Oskarshamn nuclear power plant. The Clab facility has capacity to store 8000 tonnes of spent fuel, and 5222 tonnes was in storage at the end of 2011.
Photo: Sigrid arrived at Ringhals earlier in December. (Source SKB, Photographer: Joakim Hellman)