Over the coming years the UK will be returning “highly active” waste in the form of vitrified residues to Germany, the Nuclear Decomissioning Authority has announced.
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 Germany.
There will be a total of three shipments to storage facilities in Germany, with the first shipment scheduled for the first half of 2020.
The Vitrified Residue Returns programme 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.
These returns involve Sellafield Ltd working in partnership with International Nuclear Services (INS) to return the waste to German customers.
INS, a subsidiary of the NDA, will perform the shipments, drawing on more than 40 years’ experience of transporting nuclear materials safely and securely around the world.
The waste will be transported by sea on a specialised vessel to a German port, then onwards by rail to the final destinations. INS has contracted with Daher Nuclear Technologies GmbH, to safely manage the overland transport in Germany.
The shipment will be carried out in full compliance with all applicable national and international regulations, and subject to issue of all relevant permits and licences.