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Plutonium: Exports

Volume 497: debated on Thursday 22 October 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change pursuant to the answer of 9 September 2009, Official Report, column 1976W, on plutonium: exports, (a) which ships were used in each respective transport to which reference is made and (b) which United Kingdom port of departure and Swedish port of destination was used in each case; and when he expects the irradiated advanced cooled reactor fuel pins to be returned to the United Kingdom from Sweden. (292490)

The Intermediate Level Waste containing approximately 5g of plutonium was contained within drums and shipped in a lorry from Immingham to Gothenburg on a normal commercial ferry. The cargo met all the regulatory and licence requirements for the chosen method of transport.

The container of 46 irradiated advanced gas-cooled reactor (AGR) fuel pins containing less than 400g of plutonium was shipped from Workington to Wallhamn on the Atlantic Osprey. This is a special-purpose cargo vessel, approved by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency to International Maritime Organisation standards to be certificated as an INF2 (Irradiated Nuclear Fuel) vessel.

The fuel pins are still undergoing analytical examination and plans for their return to the UK have not yet been made.