A consignment of intermediate-level waste (ILW) was delivered to the interim waste store at the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation’s (ANSTO’s) Lucas Heights facility in Australia on 13 March. This comprised a single flask containing ILW in the form of vitrified residues which resulted from the reprocessing and recycling of used fuel from a research reactor, medicine and scientific research in Australia.
The flask, containing waste that is radiologically equivalent to the used fuel received by the UK from Australia in 1996, was transported to an Australian port by the Nuclear Transport Solutions (NTS) specialist vessel Pacific Grebe, then overland to Lucas Heights.
The Vitrified Residue Returns (VRR) programme – a partnership between Sellafield Ltd and NTS – is a key component of the UK’s Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) strategy to repatriate waste from the UK, fulfil overseas contracts and deliver UK Government policy.
NTS, part of the NDA, performed the shipment, in full compliance with all UK, Australian and international regulations, drawing on more than 45 years’ experience of transporting nuclear materials safely and securely around the world. Seth Kybird, CEO of NTS, said: “This is another significant milestone in delivering UK government strategy to repatriate waste from the UK to overseas customers. Once again, NTS has demonstrated its ability to complete complex transports safely and securely.”