A damaged cargo ship carrying nuclear waste from Dounreay in Scotland has made it back to port following a funnel fire that caused a loss of engine power during a run from Scrabster to Antwerp.
The waste was being shipped in two flasks that each contained three 500-liter drums ranked at a low level of safety risk by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, the British Broadcasting Corp. said.
The shipment was headed to Belgium, a return trip. It had been shipped from Belgium to Dounreay in the 1990s for reprocessing.
The drifting MV Parida was picked up and towed to Invergordon, Scotland, for repairs by two tugs.
While adrift, the ship had been heading in the direction of the Beatrice oil platform, 24 km (about 14 miles) offshore, which lead to a helicopter evacuation of 52 workers from the platform.
Scottish authorities said the retrieved ship posed no safety threat and that the “integrity of the vessel and the cargo,” was not affected by the ship's troubles, Scotland’s The Press and Journal reported.
A shipping journal, TradeWinds, said the Parida was built in 1999. It is registered in Denmark and owned by Harren & Partner, a German firm.
When the fire broke out, the ship's engines were shut down immediately, said a spokesman from Britain's Maritime & Coastguard Agency.
Dounreay's management said in 2011 that 150 metric tons of intermediate level waste would be returned to Belgium over a four-year period. They are also preparing to return processed waste to facilities in Australia and Germany, the BBC said.
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