Safe delivery of Highly Active Waste from the UK to Switzerland

Corporate News

A consignment of highly active waste (HAW) has been safely delivered to its destination in Switzerland for the Swiss electricity utilities AXPO AG and BKW Energie.

Four flasks, each containing 28 containers of highly active waste in the form of vitrified residues, arrived at the Zwilag storage facility in northern Switzerland on 13th October 2016.

This was the second and final shipment of HAW from the UK to Switzerland.

The waste results from the reprocessing and recycling of spent nuclear fuel at the Sellafield site in West Cumbria, which had previously been used to produce electricity by utilities in Switzerland.

The Vitrified Residue Returns (VRR) programme, a partnership between Sellafield Ltd and International Nuclear Services (INS), is a key component of the UK’s Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) strategy to repatriate highly active waste from the UK, fulfil overseas contracts and deliver UK Government policy.

INS, a subsidiary of the NDA, performed the shipment, in full compliance with all national and international regulations, drawing on more than 40 years’ experience of transporting nuclear materials safely and securely around the world.

The waste was transported via the port of Cherbourg, France, then onwards by rail to Switzerland. INS contracted with its historical partner, the French specialist AREVA, to safely manage the overland transport in France.

Sellafield Ltd’s VRR Programme Manager, Will Watson said: “This is the completion of the third European return of highly active waste from Sellafield, and continues the programme of successful overseas returns.

“I’d like to say a big thank you to all the teams at Sellafield Ltd and INS who form the VRR Programme and have achieved another milestone in the government strategy to return highly active waste to overseas customers.”