The decommissioning of ‘Oceanic Pintail’ in Scotland has ‘set the standard others must follow’ after 100% of the 3,865-tonne specialist nuclear vessel was recycled.
Nuclear Transport Solutions (NTS), which operated Oceanic Pintail, set Dales Marine Services the challenge of ensuring 98% of the world-class cargo vessel was reused.
Applying a number of innovative techniques, the Scottish firm exceeded expectations, and recycled every part of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority-owned (NDA) Oceanic Pintail, by:
- Separating different oils from water, and using the soil as furnace fuel
- Converting insulation into electrical energy
- Crushing concrete and tiles to create material used in the construction industry
Reusing 100% of a nuclear vessel is a UK first, and supports both the NDA group and Government’s carbon net-zero ambitions.
Peter Buchan, NTS’s Shipping Director, said: “NTS takes its environmental responsibilities seriously, so we’re delighted that 100% of Oceanic Pintail has been recycled.
“We set our contractors, Dales Marine, an incredibly ambitious recycling target. They took that challenge and set the standard for others to follow when it comes to decommissioning vessels.
“It’s a fantastic achievement, especially considering the work was completed in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic, so a lot of thanks must go to everyone who has played a role in ensuring this project has been a huge success. Oceanic Pintail served the UK with distinction and this is a fitting end to its life.”
While David Peattie, Group Chief Executive of the NDA, also praised the environmental success. He said: “The NDA group is committed to supporting Government goals to be carbon net-zero by 2050. This fantastic achievement in recycling 100% of Oceanic Pintail supports our ambitions to reduce our carbon impact.”
Boasting a perfect safety record, the Japanese-constructed Oceanic Pintail first set sail 33 years ago. Since its maiden voyage, Oceanic Pintail has served customers from across the world with bespoke solutions to all specialist nuclear transport challenges, until its final journey to Dales Marine’s Leith dock in November 2020.
Efficient and ethical ship recycling is a costly business, with the South Asian beaches unfortunately still being the major destination for end-of-life vessels. But projects such as Oceanic Pintail act as a valuable demonstration and beacon of hope on what can be achieved.
By Jake Frith