Nuclear Waste Carrier Goes Aground off Sweden

Sigrid
File image courtesy SKB

By MarEx 2016-04-11 13:27:39

The nuclear waste carrier Sigrid went aground Friday near the decommissioned Barsebäck Nuclear Power Plant, 10 nm from Copenhagen.

"They have reported that they have no dangerous goods on board, we do not know the reason for the grounding, but they had a pilot on board," said Eva Nordström, a press officer at the Swedish Maritime Administration. "An inspector will examine the ship but we have no information that there would be damage or leaks."

The vessel was refloated later the same day and taken to a dock at Barsebäck, where she remained Monday. 

The 1,600 dwt ro/ro Sigrid, built in 2013, is owned by the Swedish Nuclear Fuel and Waste Management Company (SKB) and operated by Furetank Rederi. She was purpose built to carry spent nuclear material from reactors to SKB's facilities, and is classed INF 3, the highest IMO classification for nuclear transport vessels, requiring a high degree of redundancy. All of Sweden's nuclear plants are on the coast, and have their own harbors; virtually all of the nation's nuclear waste travels by sea. On arrival at SKB's plant, the material is placed in interim storage pools, 100 feet underground, to await eventual encapsulation and placement in a planned final repository, 1500 feet below Forsmark, Sweden.

All nuclear fuel has already been removed from Barsebäck, but reactor tanks and other major parts will still have to be dismantled and taken away. Full dismantlement of the facility will not get under way until a permanent repository for the rest of its contaminated parts is built. Once begun, the tear-down of hazardous components is expected to take five years, followed by dismantlement of surrounding buildings.