The UK has completed the fifth in a series of shipments of vitrified highly active waste (HAW) to Japan.
Sellafield Ltd said five transport flasks containing a total of 124 canisters of HAW arrived at the port of Mutsu-Ogawara on 16 September on board the specialist vessel Pacific Grebe. The flasks were loaded onto the Pacific Grebe in Barrow-in-Furness after being transported by rail from the Sellafield site in Cumbria. On arrival in Japan, the flasks were taken by road to Japan Nuclear Fuel Ltd's Rokkasho storage facility in northeastern Aomori Prefecture.
Sellafield said: "Overall, it was the 17th shipment of its type from Europe to Japan since 1995. Each transport flask will undergo a series of tests prior to the canisters being removed, inspected and placed in storage." Pacific Grebe is part of a fleet of vessels operated by UK-based Pacific Nuclear Transport Limited, which is owned by International Nuclear Services (INS), a subsidiary of the UK's Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (62.5%), Areva (12.5%), with the remaining shares held by a consortium of Japanese nuclear companies including Kepco.
A vitrified nuclear waste shipment from the UK to Switzerland, also took place in September, Areva said. The waste was transported from the UK to France by sea and then from France to Switzerland by land. The shipment, comprising three casks each with 28 canisters of vitrified waste, left the UK port of Barrow-in-Furness for the French port of Cherbourg. INS is responsible for the shipment while Areva TN, Areva's nuclear logistics business, oversees the management of ground transportation in France.