Mixed load by rail delivers benefits

nda_logoIn a landmark move for the nuclear industry, a ‘mixed load’ of radioactive materials was shipped by train from Berkeley Railhead in Gloucester to Sellafield in Cumbria.

Flasks containing spent fuel from Oldbury were loaded alongside ISO containers of packaged Intermediate Level Waste from Research Sites Restoration Limited’s Harwell Site in Oxfordshire.

Specialist rail freight operator, Direct Rail Services (DRS), ran the train. DRS already operates both services separately and has a long history of safely transporting materials for the nuclear industry.

Historically, the transport of these loads have always operated separately. However, NDA concluded that sharing loads to Sellafield would deliver savings and environmental benefits. A long period of planning, stakeholder and regulatory engagement was required before the first mixed transport was successfully completed in July.

John Slaughter, Magnox Head of Fuel, said:

“Whilst both traffic streams are well established, this represents the first time they have been combined in this way. This paves the way for significant savings and efficiencies in the future.”