UK ships HLW back to Japan

22 January 2010

The programme of returning solid Highly Active Waste (HAW) from Sellafield to overseas customers, has begun.

Credit: Sellafield Ltd
Waste arising from the reprocessing of Japanese nuclear fuel is being shipped back to Japan on the Pacific Sandpiper.

During the first stage of transport, a single 113te flask, containing 28 stainless steel containers of solid HAW from the Sellafield site, was transported to the Port of Barrow on a specially constructed rail wagon.

It was then transferred on to a Pacific Nuclear Transport Ltd (PNTL) vessel Pacific Sandpiper which departed on 21 January for Japan. The voyage is scheduled to end in the first half of March 2010. Travel will be via the Panama Canal.

Ian Hudson, the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority’s Sellafield Programme Director said: “The commencement of this first return of high level waste to overseas customers is a significant milestone in meeting our contractual commitments and delivering on Government policy. The delivery of this programme is a prime example of high quality team working across the NDA estate.”

All of the transports of HAW to Japan will be delivered by International Nuclear Services and its subsidiary, PNTL. In 2007 PNTL completed a programme of 12 similar HAW transports to Japan for the French nuclear industry.

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