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A new specialist nuclear transport organisation has officially launched today in the UK. Nuclear Transport Solutions (NTS), part of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA), operates Direct Rail Services (DRS) and Pacific Nuclear Transport Limited (PNTL), which offer rail and shipping services, respectively. The NDA is also in the process of integrating its radioactive waste management businesses.

A DRS locomotive alongside one of PNTL's ships at Marine Terminal in Barrow, Cumbria (Image: NTS)

In February 2020, the NDA announced its decision to create a single nuclear transport division, bringing together its transport expertise and capabilities across the NDA group to support its mission to clean up the UK's earliest nuclear sites. Nuclear Transport Solutions started operating as a single organisation on 1 February.

NTS has today officially been fully launched. With a workforce of over 700, it specialises in the operational, commercial, engineering, legal, and regulatory expertise that underpin nuclear transport and logistics operations. It also provides consultancy services offering bespoke solutions to customers' complex nuclear transport challenges, and transport services for customers outside of the nuclear sector.

NTS's primary objective will be to support the NDA mission through a range of activities including transporting used advanced gas-cooled reactor fuel from UK power plants to Sellafield, moving irradiated fuels from Dounreay, returning reprocessing products to customers overseas, and packaging and licensing support to the NDA group.

DRS operates a fleet of over 100 locomotives. Since DRS was established in 1995, it has transported nuclear material over 5 million miles by rail in the UK.

PNTL operates three specialist nuclear transport ships. So far it has shipped over 2000 nuclear casks some 5 million miles to countries including: Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland and the USA.

"We have created NTS to become the leading global provider of safe, secure and reliable nuclear transport solutions - building on the experience and capabilities of DRS, International Nuclear Services and PNTL to deliver great value for our UK and international customers," said NTS CEO Seth Kybird.

"We're proud of how we use our expertise to make the world safer and more sustainable. Whether that's by supporting the clean-up of the UK's nuclear legacy, using our high security shipping capabilities to support global security goals, or providing low-carbon rail freight solutions that takes more lorries off our roads."

In November 2020, the NDA launched its integrated waste management programme to act as a focal point for managing the UK's radioactive waste and to deliver its integrated waste management strategy. The programme operates across the waste lifecycle, including the treatment, packaging, storage, transport and disposal of waste.

The NDA said it intends to create a single waste division to bring together its group-wide waste management expertise enabling it to grow capability, simplify how it operates and deliver greater value for the taxpayer. The new waste division will include its waste disposal companies LLW Repository Limited and Radioactive Waste Management.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News

Date: Tuesday, 20 April 2021
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