The UK’s longest serving nuclear vessel, Oceanic Pintail, is making its final journey to Scotland after 33 years of service to the nuclear industry.
The 3,865-tonne cargo vessel set sail from Barrow-in-Furness in Cumbria, for the last time last week and will be recycled by Leith firm Dales Marine Services.
Operated by International Nuclear Services (INS), it has a track record of safely carrying MOX – or mixed oxide fuel – and high level radioactive waste across the world and most recently, separate plutonium from Sweden to the US.
INS’s commitment to ensure 98% of Pintail is recycled is part of a major focus for the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA), which set a priority this year to identify ways to reduce and map the industry’s carbon footprint.
Peter Buchan, Operations Director for INS said: “Oceanic Pintail has served the nuclear industry and the UK with distinction. With a fantastic safety record since she first sailed in 1987, Pintail has been involved in some incredibly important projects, including being the first vessel to ship MOX fuel from Europe to Japan in 1999 and the recently completed Dounreay Exotics Consolidation Programme.
“It was crucial to us that the winning bidder was able to do so in safe and environmentally-friendly way. We set out rigorous standards, which had to be met, including a target that 98% of the vessel being recycled.”