‘Indispensable’ INS plays a major role in Fukushima recovery

International Nuclear Services (INS) has been granted an export licence to support the continuing recovery operations at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station.

Granted by the UK Government’s Department for International Trade, the licence allows INS to transport innovative equipment – used for identifying, sampling and retrieving nuclear fuel debris inside the site’s condemned No2 reactor – to Japan.

The equipment, supplied by British companies – Createc, which is based in Cockermouth, Cumbria, and Veolia Nuclear Solutions UK (VNS), will be delivered to Mitsubishi Heavy Industry (MHI), one of the principal contractors managing the remediation work.

On 11 March 2011, a magnitude 9.0 earthquake – the world’s fourth largest on record – and tsunami hit the east coast of Japan, causing catastrophic damage to the power station. All six of the site’s reactors have since been shut-down with no plans to restart them.

The UK’s involvement is now being led by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, which has commissioned INS and its Japanese subsidiary INS Japan KK (INSJ) to assist Createc and VNS, in delivering systems.

INSJ has a longstanding presence in Japan and is able to act as the relationship manager and link between the principal contractors and British firms, which provide experience and technology to be developed and implemented in the remediation activities.

By helping UK businesses gain access to decommissioning opportunities in Japan, INS is supporting the focus of the UK Government’s Nuclear Sector Deal on exporting capabilities and expertise to other parts of the world.

Joe Wilkinson, INS’s Technical Contracts Manager, said: “This is a great opportunity for INS to support Japan in the recovery and remediation of the Fukushima site, as well as supporting UK companies in gaining access to the Japanese market.”

Matt Mellor, Createc’s Managing Director, added: “INS has played a unique and indispensable role in enabling collaboration between the UK and Japan. Without the legacy of mutual understanding and trust through years of bilateral co-operation, and embodied by INS, this project would not have been possible.”