UK recycles decommissioned nuclear cargo vessel

14 October 2021

Oceanic Pintail decommissioning (Credit: NTS)The UK Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) said on 12 October Nuclear Transport Solutions (NTS), which operated Oceanic Pintail, had set Dales Marine Services the challenge of ensuring 98% of the former nuclear cargo vessel was reused.

Applying a number of innovative techniques, the Scottish firm exceeded expectations, and recycled every part of Oceanic Pintail, by:

  • Separating different oils from water, and using the soil as furnace fuel
  • Converting insulation into electrical energy
  • Crushing concrete and tiles to create material used in the construction industry
  • Reusing 100% of a nuclear vessel is a UK first, and supports both the NDA group and Government’s carbon net-zero ambitions.

Peter Buchan, NTS’s Shipping Director, said: “NTS takes its environmental responsibilities seriously, so we’re delighted that 100% of Oceanic Pintail has been recycled. We set our contractors, Dales Marine, an incredibly ambitious recycling target. They took that challenge and set the standard for others to follow when it comes to decommissioning vessels. It’s a fantastic achievement, especially considering the work was completed in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic.”

David Peattie, Group Chief Executive of the NDA, also praised the environmental success. He said: “The NDA group is committed to supporting Government goals to be carbon net-zero by 2050. This fantastic achievement in recycling 100% of Oceanic Pintail, supports our ambitions to reduce our carbon impact.”

The Japanese-constructed Oceanic Pintail first set sail 33 years ago. 

Since its maiden voyage, Oceanic Pintail has served customers from across the world with bespoke solutions to all specialist nuclear transport challenges, until its final journey to Dales Marine’s Leith dock in November 2020.

Oceanic Pintail decommissioning (Credit: NTS)

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