Launching NTS: new centre of excellence

13 May 2021

April 2021 sees the UK’s leading nuclear transport companies come together into a single organisation – Nuclear Transport Solutions (NTS) – with a bold ambition to use its nuclear transport expertise to make the world safer and more sustainable

Above: NTS ship and train at Barrow Marine Terminal, UK


THE UK HAS LONG BEEN a global leader at transporting nuclear materials, benefiting for many years from the expertise that exists within International Nuclear Services (INS), Direct Rail Services (DRS) and Pacific Nuclear Transport Ltd (PNTL).

Launched this month, (NTS) brings these specialist capabilities together into a single organisation responsible for providing safe, secure and reliable nuclear transport solutions in the UK and internationally.

Seth Kybird, NTS CEO, explains: “Our ambition is for NTS to be a centre of excellence for nuclear transport and cement our position as a vital UK and international capability. The UK is already a leader in nuclear transport but by coming together we’re now greater than the sum of our parts.”

As part of the UK’s Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA), NTS provides vital transport solutions to support the NDA’s mission to clean-up the UK’s earliest sites in what is the largest environmental restoration programme in Europe.

Its work includes transporting spent fuel from UK power stations to Sellafield, the return of reprocessing products to customers overseas, and packaging and licensing solutions to the NDA group.

It also has responsibility for developing a strategic overview of all nuclear movements across NDA’s 17 sites with a view to making transport operations more efficient and sustainable.

As well as safely transporting materials to, from and between NDA sites, NTS has increasingly found a market for its specialist nuclear transport capabilities amongst a range of UK and international customers.

In recent years, it has provided complex end-to-end transport solutions for materials including plutonium, highly-enriched uranium, MOX fuel, high-level waste and spent fuel to a number of customers around the world.

And, through DRS, it has expanded its offering to customers outside the nuclear sector, and now operates a number of intermodal rail freight services in consumer goods and general freight markets.

“Our focus will always be on supporting nuclear clean-up in the UK and serving our longstanding customers like the Japanese utility companies” Seth continues.

“But we will use our skills and expertise to expand our work with overseas governments and customers.”

Seth is bullish about NTS’s growth ambitions “delivering for customers outside of our core mission ensures our capabilities and assets are enhanced and generates additional revenue to support the long-term mission of our owner, the NDA”

But he’s also passionate about the wider benefits of what NTS does, adding “commercial success and delivering our clean-up mission are not mutually exclusive.”

“We’re proud of how we use our expertise to make the world safer and more sustainable. Whether that’s by supporting the clean-up of the UK’s nuclear legacy, using our high-security shipping capabilities to support global security goals, or providing low-carbon rail freight solutions that takes more lorries of our roads.”

Thousands of consignments of radioactive materials are transported by rail, road, sea or air each day, and the UK has been at the forefront of nuclear transportation and packaging for many decades.

During this time, the companies that make up NTS have travelled millions of miles, moving thousands of flasks of material while maintaining a flawless nuclear safety record.

According to Seth, that means NTS has a responsibility to use its experience to advance the quality, technology and expertise of nuclear transport for the benefit of the UK and global nuclear community.

It already works closely with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the World Institute for Nuclear Security (WINS), the World Nuclear Transport Institute (WNTI) and other international partners to further this aim.

Seth explains: “This is something we’re passionate about. As an industry we have a duty to be excellent at what we do – so if we can help others increase the capacity for safe, secure and sustainable nuclear transport, then we will.”

Nuclear Transport Solutions launched fully on 7 April, 2021. You can find out more at:

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