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PNTL: maritime transport of nuclear materials

Return of used fuel to Japan with the PNTL Pacific Heron

AREVA owns 12.5% of Pacific Nuclear Transport Ltd (PNTL), which specializes in the maritime transport of nuclear materials. Created in 1975, PNTL has a fleet of three ships especially designed for this purpose.

Highly specialized operations

Nuclear materials are transported by liners or specially designed ships in the case of irradiated fuel, vitrified waste, MOX fuel and other materials requiring special transport conditions.  The nuclear materials are placed in packages called "shipping casks".

PNTL has carried out more than 200 sea shipments of nuclear materials over the past 40 years, corresponding to more than 2,000 shipping casks transported. The company has transported:

  • used nuclear fuel from commercial reactors in Japan to ports in the United Kingdom and France;
  • vitrified high-level waste from France and the United Kingdom to Japan;
  • MOX fuel (mixed oxides) from the United Kingdom and France to Japan;
  • used research reactor fuel (materials testing reactors) from Japan and Europe to the United States; and
  • plutonium dioxide from the United States to Europe.

AREVA has a 12.5% equity interest in PNTL. The remainder of the share capital is divided between International Nuclear Services (62.5%) and a consortium of Japanese companies (25%). Under contract to International Nuclear Services, the Serco company manages the ships, which are based at Barrow-in-Furness, England.

In terms of nuclear and occupational safety, PNTL’s reputation is built on more than 40 years of unrivaled experience in the sea transport of nuclear materials.

The men and women of the PNTL team have an average of 20 years of experience with the fleet, making them some of the most experienced in the world. In addition, all superior officers have qualifications that exceed those required for the duties they fulfill on board. The Executive Officer, for example, must have a Command Certificate.

The company is ISO 9001 certified for its quality management system and ISO 14001 certified for its environmental management system. It is pursuing a continuous improvement program to maintain these certifications and continuously meet the most demanding standards in the maritime and environmental fields.

Pacific Nuclear Transport Limited

H260 Hinton House
Cheshire WA3 6GR
United Kingdom
+44 (0) 1925 835000  +44 (0) 1925 832000