AREVA logo

4th spent fuel shipment from Australia to France

Press release

November 23, 2004

As announced on November 22nd by ANSTO, the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (, a maritime shipment of spent fuel from the nuclear research reactor of Lucas Heighs has left the port of Botany Bay (Australia). It is currently heading for Cherbourg (France).

This transport is operated within the framework of a contract signed in 1999 by ANSTO and COGEMA. Three similar shipments from Australia to France have already been implemented without any incident : December, 1999 to January, 2000 ; January to March, 2001 ; October to December, 2003. As for the previous shipments, the ship uses the Cape of  Good Hope route.

Recently built (2001) the ship especially chartered for this occasion is M/S “Panthera”. Her specifications guaranty safety of transportation. This Danish-flagged ship comes up to INF 2 classification requirements as mandated by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO): she has reinforced hull and hold structures, and she is equipped with complementary detection systems and fire detection, with redundant electricity generators, modern communication and tracking system (INMARSAT and GPS). The INF 2 certification requirements also include a radiation protection-training program for the crew and a specific shipboard emergency plan.

Moreover, this transport complies with the international regulations from the United Nations bodies in force for the transport of radioactive materials, namely the IAEA Transport Regulations, the International Maritime Dangerous Goods code of the IMO, that governs the handling of dangerous goods within maritime transport operations, and the Irradiated Nuclear Fuel (INF) code that states the safety rules applicable to ships carrying nuclear materials.


ANSTO press contact :
Craig PEARCE – (61) 2 97 17 37 70 or (61) 418 284 813

COGEMA LOGISTICS press contact :
Henry-Jacques NEAU - (33) 139 48 76 94 or (33) 607 58 55 38