The decommissioning of Oceanic Pintail 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:

“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.


Notes to editors:
NTS is part of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority group (NDA), and is the world’s leading transporter of nuclear materials.

It has a fleet of over 100 locomotives, three specialist nuclear vessels and a 700-strong workforce.

With a flawless safety record dating back more than 40 years, NTS has successfully transported over 2,000 nuclear casks over five million nautical miles to counties like Japan, USA, Germany, Italy, Finland, Sweden and Australia.

NTS also has an impeccable rail safety record with over five million miles travelled across the UK without incident.

NTS customers include the USA’s Department of Energy, Japanese utility companies and EDF.

NTS is a founding member of the World Nuclear Transport Institute, which was set up in 1998, and has signed the Women in Nuclear, Women in Maritime, and Women in Rail charters.

Contact us:
John Fuller: External Communications
[email protected]
01925 986414 / 07807 044786