"How SAFE are radioactive material transportation packages?"
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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 Fire Test to a
Gasoline Tanker and Sedan collision under an Overpass
Fire Test
[FIRE test]
Click to view picture
Real-life Accident Comparison
[FIRE scenario]
Click to view picture
Real-life scenarios that the above test is designed to protect against include being involved in an accident with a gasoline tanker truck, causing the gasoline contents to burn the package.

The amount of fuel being burned is approximately 5000 gallons in a pool 30 feet in diameter.

During this test, the package is fully engulfed in the fire and is not protected by a transporting vehicle.

On October 9, 1997, a truck tractor pulling a cargo tank semitrailer was going under an overpass of the New York State Thruway in Yonkers, New York when it was struck by a sedan. The car hit the right side of the cargo tank in the area of the tank's external loading/unloading lines, releasing the 8800 gallons of gasoline they contained.

The collision and ensuing fire destroyed the Fruehauf MC-306 cargo tank semitrailer, Eagle Premier sedan, and the overpass. The thruway remained closed for approximately 6 months. The driver of the car was killed. The driver of the truck was not injured. Property damage was estimated at $7 million. At the time of the accident, the weather was clear and dry.

QUESTION:
What would have happened if a vehicle carrying a Type B RAM package had been present during this fire?

ANSWER:
The package may have suffered some damage, but would not have released any 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