International Nuclear Services

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Nuclear spin.png This article is part of the Nuclear Spin project of Spinwatch.


International Nuclear Services (INS) is the commercial agency for spent fuel management services in the UK and describes itself as the world's most experienced global shipper of nuclear materials. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority.

It acts as the ‘customer interface’ to over 20 utility customers in the UK and overseas for irradiated fuel management services and the transport of nuclear materials. It has around 140 staff, with offices and facilities in the UK, France, Germany and Japan.[1]

Its subsidiary, Pacific Nuclear Transport (PNT), operates three ships, Pacific Heron, Pacific Egret and Pacific Grebe, which transport nuclear material around the world.[2]

Spinning the safety of nuclear material transportation

INS has a contract with US-based public relations and lobbying firm Gavin Carter and Associates. Its aim is to “reduce the amount of controversy” created by its transportation of nuclear transportation by PNT, according to PR Week. The contract is worth £500,000 over three-and-a-half years, and is part of the firm’s ‘global acceptance activities’.[3]

According to a copy of the contract, obtained by NuclearSpin, the PR firm’s role includes:[4]

  • Development of Global Acceptance information materials.
  • Establishment of governmental, media and academic contacts and co-ordination of HM Government and diplomatic support for shipments.
  • Representation of International Nuclear Services on overseas missions.
  • Support to INS at Japanese Customer meetings as required.
  • Planning of specific missions in support of shipments and management and co-ordination of Global Acceptance activities during shipments.
  • Briefing media at key stages of the shipments and monitoring of international media coverage relating to shipments.
  • Representation of International Nuclear Services on relevant Global Acceptance issues in Washington DC.
  • Building confidence and undertake influential dialogue with key stakeholders.
  • Prompt tactical advice for in response to adverse media publications.

The contract is due to run until 2016.[5]

INS injuncts Greenpeace

In November 2012, INS obtained a court injunction against Greenpeace, to protect its vessels against what it said were “irresponsible and unsafe actions” by the environmental campaign group.[6] On 23 September, the Atlantic Osprey arrived at the port of Nordenham on Germany's North Sea coast carrying mixed-oxide fuel produced at Sellafield, for use in the Grohnde nuclear power plant in Lower Saxony. As the ship approached the port, Greenpeace protesters reportedly circled it in boats and one protester tried to climb on board.[7]

INS was represented by the law firm DLA Piper.[8]

INS joins the PM on his 2012 Far East trade lobbying tour

In April 2012, International Nuclear Services MD Mark Jervis joined UK prime minister David Cameron on his travels to Japan, Indonesia and Malaysia as part of a four-day tour of east and south-east Asia. He was travelling with a 40-strong delegation of business representatives to boost trade opportunities for the UK. [9]

The group included six defence contractors, along with representatives from the Nuclear Industry Association, the National Nuclear Laboratory, and the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, as well as the government's Chief Scientific Adviser, Sir John Beddington. [10] Cameron was pushing Britain's expertise in nuclear decommissioning, in the wake of the Fukushima disaster. As Cameron explained:

Looking to the future, we want to continue to support the Japanese as they reconstruct the Tohoku region and tackle the challenges of the nuclear clean-up. British companies have significant expertise in nuclear decommissioning and clean-up, with 19 nuclear sites in the UK currently being managed through the process. I really think that concrete experience can be of direct benefit to Japan.[11]


  • John Clarke - Chairman (current) and former Managing Director until June 2008, when he became the Chief Executive of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA). In this role he managed the transition of INS from a subsidiary of Sellafield Limited to a wholly owned subsidiary of the NDA. He also sits on the board of Britain's Energy Coast, as the NDA's representative member and of Pacific Nuclear Transport Limited. [12]
  • Mark Jervis - MD


Websites: and


  1. About us, INS website, undated, accessed 14 March 2013
  2. Our fleet, Pacific Nuclear Transport website, undated, accessed 14 March 2013
  3. John Owens, ‘Shipping firm International Nuclear Services seeks comms help’, PR Week, 5 July 2012.
  5. Arun Sudhaman, ‘US PR Firm Retained For Global Nuclear Shipping Assignment’, Holmes Report, 22 Nov 2012
  6. INS secures injunction deterring Greenpeace transport interference, INS website, 16 November 2012
  7. ‘Transporter wins injunction against Greenpeace’, World Nuclear News, 19 November 2012
  8. ‘DLA Piper obtains temporary injunction against Greenpeace for the secure transport of MOX fuel cells to Grohnde nuclear power plant’ DLAPiper website, 6 Dec 2012
  9. Nicholas Watt, David Cameron seeks slice of Japanese defence contracts on Tokyo trip, The Guardian, Tuesday 10 April 2012, accessed 3 September 2012
  10. Prime Minister's Trip to South East Asia, delegation list
  11. 'Konichiwa Dave': Cameron flies flag for Britain as he arrives in Japan on first stop of South East Asian trade mission, Daily Mail, 10 April 2012 | UPDATED: 12:15 GMT, 10 April 2012
  12. Board Members: John Clarke, Britain’s Energy Coast Board, undated, accessed 20 May 2012