"How SAFE are radioactive material transportation packages?"



How are packages certified?
What are full-scale tests?
What are scale-model tests?
What is computer analysis?
What are examples of severe testing?
How do the certification tests compare to real-life accidents?
Real-Life Accidents
Free Drop Comparison
Crush Comparison
Puncture Comparison
Fire Comparison
Immersion Comparison
Demonstrating target hardness.
Comparison of the Free Drop Test to a
Mack Truck and Subaru Collision
Crush Test
200,000 lbs of force present
in this package certification test.
[CRUSH test]
Click to view picture
Real-life Accident Comparison
60,000 lbs of force present
in this real-life accident.
[CRUSH scenario]
Click to view picture
Real-life scenarios that the above test* is designed to protect against include:
  • the package being under a vehicle during a pile-up accident
  • the package being pinned between two vehicles during a collision.
The 55 gallon drum is an overpack for a smaller (6-inch diameter x 18-inch long, 1/4-inch thick stainless steel walled) package that is inside.

Note*: This test is ONLY for packages weighing less than 500 kg (1100 lbs).
On April 25, 1996, a Mack truck with a concrete mixer body, unable to stop, proceeded through an intersection at the bottom of an exit ramp. It collided with and overrode a Subaru passenger car near Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania.

The driver of the car was fatally injured, and the truck driver sustained minor injuries. The weather was clear and dry. No fire ensued.

What would have happened if a truck carrying a Type B RAM package had been struck by the concrete mixer in a way such that the mixer ended up on top of the RAM package?

The package would have sustained no damage or only minor denting. There would have been no release of radioactive material.

What forces are present in this accident?

DOE | NTP Headquarters | NTP Albuquerque Operations
Sandia National Laboratories | Nuclear Energy & Fuel Cucle Programs
Acknowledgment and Disclaimer