Safe repatriation of high-level waste from the UK to Germany

German VRR

A consignment of high-level waste (HLW) has been safely delivered to its destination in Germany.

Six flasks, each containing 28 containers of HLW in the form of vitrified residues, arrived at the Federal interim storage facility in Germany on 4 November 2020.

This was the first of three planned shipments of HLW from the UK to Germany.

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 for homes and industry in Germany.

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 HLW 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 by rail from Sellafield to the port of Barrow-in-Furness, by specialist vessel Pacific Grebe to a German port, then by rail to Biblis. INS contracted with our specialist German partner Daher Nuclear Technologies GmbH (DNT), to safely manage the overland transport in Germany.

Seth Kybird, Managing Director of INS said: “This is a significant milestone in delivering UK government strategy to repatriate high level waste from Sellafield to overseas customers. Once again, INS has demonstrated its ability to complete complex transports safely and securely.”