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Arrival of the fourth shipment of research reactor spent fuel from Australia to France

Press release

January 05, 2005

The shipment of spent fuel from the HIFAR research reactor exploited by ANSTO (Australian Nuclear Science & Technology Organisation), that had left Botany Bay (Australia) last 22nd of November, arrived at the COGEMA Logistics port facilities in Cherbourg (France) on January 5th, 2005 at 06:40 am.

This transport is operated within the framework of a contract signed by ANSTO and COGEMA in January 1999. It meets Australian Government’s will to reduce the volume of spent fuel stored at the Lucas Heights site (Australia).

The transport operation was involving 276 spent fuel elements. These elements, standing for seven years of HIFAR research reactor operation – that is to say, several millions of medical treatments –, had left Australia on board a specially chartered ship (Panthera) that has been designed to transport nuclear materials in compliance with the international regulations in force. The five casks used for this transport guarantee the confinement of shipped materials, even in extreme, severe conditions.

The transport casks will be transferred to the COGEMA La Hague plant very shortly.