NTS completes successful repatriation of intermediate-level waste to Australia

ILW flask preparing for its final transport to an interim waste store in Australia

A consignment of intermediate-level waste (ILW) has been safely delivered to its destination in Australia.

A single flask containing ILW in the form of vitrified residues arrived at the interim waste store at the Lucas Heights facility in Australia on 13 March 2022.

The waste results from the reprocessing and recycling of spent nuclear fuel, which had previously been used for medicine and scientific research in Australia.

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

NTS, part of the NDA, performed the shipment, in full compliance with all UK, Australian and international regulations, drawing on more than 45 years’ experience of transporting nuclear materials safely and securely around the world.

The flask, containing waste that is radiologically equivalent to spent fuel received by the UK from Australia in 1996, was transported to an Australian port by the specialist vessel Pacific Grebe, then overland to ANSTO’s Lucas Heights campus in New South Wales, Australia.

Seth Kybird, CEO of NTS, said: “This is another significant milestone in delivering UK government strategy to repatriate waste from the UK to overseas customers. Once again, NTS has demonstrated its ability to complete complex transports safely and securely.

“I would like to thank our partners and customers in the UK and Australia for their support and cooperation, and of course the crew members on board the Pacific Grebe for making this shipment such a success.”