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Monday, 25 May 2015

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Nuclear ship arrives in Barrow from Japan

A NEW £30m nuclear freight ship arrived at its home port of Barrow for the first time to begin at least two decades of work.

HOME: The Pacific Egret, which yesterday docked into Barrow following its maiden voyage from Japan

The Pacific Egret yesterday docked into Barrow following its maiden voyage from Japan.

And five of the crew on board the Pacific Egret were from the Barrow area.

Pacific Egret was ordered by Pacific Nuclear Transport Ltd, which is also part-owned by Japan and France.

The company is a subsidiary of International Nuclear Services, the world’s leading global shipper of nuclear materials, and is part of the Cumbria-based Nuclear Decommissioning Authority.

Pacific Egret is the second new ship to arrive in the last two years.

The Pacific Heron arrived in 2008.

A third ship, Pacific Grebe will arrive later this year. The Egret is expected to be fitted out with military cannons so that it can work in two-ship convoys carrying mixed oxide (Mox) power station fuel, made at Sellafield and in France, which contains recycled high-grade plutonium.

An INS statement said: “Pacific Egret is the second of three new UK-flagged vessels ordered by PNTL to fulfil its commitments to transport nuclear fuel and nuclear waste from Europe to Japan over the next two decades.”

Alastair Brown, INS’s operations director, said: “The UK has a world-class expertise and 40-year heritage in the safe and secure transport of nuclear material.

“The arrival of Pacific Egret represents the continuance of that heritage and the reinforcement of that expertise in Barrow, which will enable INS and PNTL to continue to fulfil their contracts with customers in Japan for the next two decades.”

Project managing the new vessels is Barrovian Pauline Woods.

She said: “The new design incorporates all of the high standards of their predecessors, while using new technologies in the construction and installation of equipment and systems.

“They have significant efficiency improvements and meet the environmental requirements appropriate to vessels of this size, while setting new standards in nuclear maritime transport.”

Pacific Egret will now undergo a period of fitting out and trials before entering full service in 2011.

Four of the nuclear freight ships that were based in Barrow have been scrapped in recent years.

Have your say

I am fully aware of the this ships armament! If I am correct she's being fitted with a number of 50mm cannons. I was merely pointing out that this vessel is needed to safely move this very hazardous material.

Flipping 'eck... If any one with bad intentions got hold of MOX we would be in for a bad day whether they be IRA, Al Qaeda, ETA or some whacked out wanna be with access to Haynes "how to make a really big explosion and wipe out post codes".

Posted by Derrick on 16 September 2010 at 22:50

I challenge anybody to try lifting a 100 tonne flask off one of these ships and then somehow managing to take the lid off.

The real security lies in what they don't put in the paper!

Posted by Andy on 16 September 2010 at 21:34

View all 6 comments on this article

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