France Sends Irradiated Nuclear Fuel To US (Los Alamos)

Ship carrying nuclear cargo slips in, out of port (Savannah Morning News, July 22, 2011):

The Port of Savannah had a rare visit this week when the Atlantic Osprey, one of the International Nuclear Services’ fleet of specially equipped nuclear fuel transport vessels, docked Monday at Ocean Terminal.

The Osprey, which slipped in and out of port relatively unnoticed, was carrying containers holding six casks of nuclear fuel irradiated in the now-closed French fast reactor Phenix.

It’s part of the Department of Energy’s now-defunct Global Nuclear Energy Partnership.

The material is being returned to the Los Alamos National Lab in New Mexico — reportedly its source of origination — for “post irradiation examination.”

Sources tell us the ship departed Cherbourg, France, on June 28 and was met on arrival in Savannah by escort teams from Los Alamos and the U.S. Department of Energy.

The material was off-loaded to trucks for the 1,600-plus mile trek to the Los Alamos facility, a Department of Energy nuclear research institution charged with ensuring the safety, security, and reliability of the nation’s nuclear program.

Calls to the Los Alamos National Lab were referred to the National Nuclear Security Agency in Washington, D.C., which did not return requests for information.

The Osprey is a 25-year-old INF Class 2 multi-purpose general cargo vessel operated by the International Nuclear Services. It has lift-on/lift-off capability through hatches as well as roll-on/roll-off capability via a stern door which, when open, becomes an access ramp for vehicles.

Formerly known as the Arneb, the Osprey was purchased by British Nuclear Fuels Ltd. in 2001 and extensively refurbished to meet its operational requirements.

The vessel transports used research reactor fuels, such as the cargo that came into Savannah, as well as mixed oxide — or MOX — fuel. That’s recycled nuclear fuel made from a cocktail of uranium and plutonium, the raw material of nuclear bombs.

The Osprey is also chartered to transport non-nuclear materials.

Senior business reporter Mary Carr Mayle covers the ports for the Savannah Morning News. She can be reached at
912-652-0324 or at mary.mayle@savannahnow.com.

SHIPPING SCHEDULE

These are the ships expected to call on Georgia Ports Authority’s Garden City and Ocean Terminals in the next week. Sailing schedules are provided by Georgia Ports Authority and are subject to change.

Terminal Ship name Arrival

GCT YM BUSAN Today

GCT HANJIN VALENCIA Today

GCT CHARLOTTE C. RICKMERS Today

GCT EVER DEVOTE Today

GCT ROTTERDAM EXPRESS Today

GCT PRESIDENT ADAMS Today

GCT CANADA EXPRESS Today

GCT MSC LUDOVICA Today

GCT MAERSK BRATAN Today

GCT CSAV LONQUEN Today

GCT ZIM PANAMA Today

OT TOMAR Today

GCT CMA CGM VITALITY Saturday

GCT BEAUMONT Saturday

GCT WASHINGTON EXPRESS Saturday

GCT NYK DEMETER Saturday

GCT MSC ALESSIA Saturday

GCT NYK REMUS Sunday

GCT HANJIN LOS ANGELES Sunday

GCT CMA CGM SWORDFISH Sunday

GCT CMA CGM EIFFEL Sunday

OT FORTUNE BIRD Sunday

GCT DRESDEN EXPRESS Monday

GCT NORTHERN DIVERSITY Monday

OT ATLANTIC NYALA Monday

GCT MOL ENDURANCE Tuesday

GCT HYUNDAI INTEGRAL Tuesday

GCT MAERSK WINNIPEG Tuesday

GCT CSCL BRISBANE Tuesday

GCT IPANEMA Tuesday

GCT YORK Tuesday

GCT ECEM KALKAVAN Tuesday

OT LORD VISHNU Tuesday

GCT CHISWICK BRIDGE Wednesday

GCT HUDSON RIVER Wednesday

GCT SEA-LAND METEOR Wednesday

GCT CMA CGM TARPON Wednesday

GCT XENA Wednesday

OT CEPHEUS LEADER Wednesday

OT TARAGO Wednesday

GCT YM SHANGHAI Thursday

GCT OOCL BRITAIN Thursday

GCT AMERICA EXPRESS Thursday

GCT NYK DAEDALUS Thursday

GCT ZIM SHENZHEN Thursday

GCT MSC LORETTA Thursday

GCT MAERSK IOWA Thursday

GCT ISLANDIA Thursday

GCT LIWIA P Thursday

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