"How SAFE are radioactive material transportation packages?"
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The Agencies that Generate Rules that Promulgate the Transport of Radioactive Materials:
Regulations to control the transport of radioactive material were initiated about 1935 by the Postal Service. Over the years, the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) became involved and in 1948 promulgated regulations as Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations. In 1966, DOT received hazardous materials regulatory authority that had been exercised by the ICC, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and United States Costal Guard (USCG). Currently, five groups generate rules governing the transport of radioactive material -- the DOT, NRC, USPS, DOE, and various State agencies. Among these, DOT and NRC are the primary agencies issuing regulations based on the model regulations developed by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

The NRC and DOT share responsibility for the control of radioactive material transportation based on a Memorandum of Understanding(MOU). DOT regulations (49CFR) are highly detailed. They cover all aspects of transportation, including placarding, packaging, shipper and carrier responsibilities, documentation, and all types of radioactive materials from exempt quantities to very high-level material. The NRC regulations (10CFR71) are primarily concerned with special packaging requirements for higher activity RAM. NRC regulation 10CFR71.5 requires NRC licensees transporting radioactive material to comply with DOT regulations when NRC regulations do not apply.
[Class 7 Placard]
DOT placard (label) for Class 7
(radioactive) material shipments.

The black (or magenta) tri-foil on a yellow background is the international symbol for radiation and serves as a warning to protect people from radiation exposure.


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