Shipment of Highly Active Waste from the UK to Switzerland


The flasks were loaded on to the specialist nuclear transport vessel Oceanic Pintail and sailed from Barrow on 7th October.

As part of the Vitrified Residue Return (VRR) programme, the UK is returning highly active waste (HAW) in the form of vitrified residues to Switzerland.

The VRR programme involves Sellafield Ltd working in partnership with International Nuclear Services (INS) to return HAW to the countries of origin.

This is the second of the two planned consignments for Switzerland. The waste results from the reprocessing and recycling of spent nuclear fuel at the Sellafield site, which had previously been used to produce electricity by utilities in Switzerland.

This second consignment is safely under way. Four flasks, each containing 28 containers of highly active waste, were transported from Sellafield to the nearby port of Barrow-in-Furness on 6th October 2016.

The flasks were loaded on to the specialist nuclear transport vessel Oceanic Pintail, operated by INS and the vessel sailed from Barrow on 7th October.

Oceanic Pintail is now en-route to the port of Cherbourg, France, where the flasks will be offloaded for their onward journey by rail to Switzerland.

INS has contracted with the French specialist AREVA, to safely manage the overland transport in France.

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

Sellafield Ltd will provide further information on the shipment in due course.