"How SAFE are radioactive material transportation packages?"
SAFE
HOME

RAM
PACKAGES
TESTING &
CERTIFICATION
REGULATIONS
& GUIDANCE

SEARCH
SITE MAP

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?
Demonstrating target hardness.
A packaging is certified when it can survive a sequence of impact, crush, puncture, fire, and immersion tests designed to replicate transport accident conditions. Type B Packages must meet the testing requirements of:
  • Compliance Testing, as defined in 10 CFR Part 71.85 and 10 CFR Part 71.87
  • Normal Conditions of Transport, Ten tests as defined in 10 CFR Part 71.71
  • Hypothetical Accident Conditions, Six tests as defined in 10 CFR Part 71.73
  • The ability of radioactive material packages to withstand testing environments can be demonstrated by full-scale testing, scale-model testing, computer analyses testing, direct comparison to other packages, or a combination of these.

    After the normal conditions of transportation tests the package must have no change in external radiation dose rate or release of radioactive material. These requirements imply that the entire package will be essentially undamaged after these tests.

    After the hypothetical accident conditions tests the package can only have a slight change in external radiation dose rate and a very small release rate. To meet these requirements, there can be very little deformation to the containment portion of the package.

    PACKAGE CERTIFICATION SEVERE ACCIDENT TESTING REAL-LIFE ACCIDENTS
    A RAM package can be certified ONLY if the package survives the sequential Hypothetical Accident Conditions; free drop, crush, puncture, thermal, and immersion environments.

    This regulatory testing can be accomplished with full-scale tests, scale-model tests, and/or computer analyses.

    Severe accident testing is conducted to support risk assessments and improve public confidence. The forces present in real-life accidents are compared to the forces present in the Hypothetical Accident Conditions.
    Full-Scale
    Tests

    [DROP test]
    Scale-Model
    Tests

    [scale model component test]
    Computer
    Analyses

    [structural analysis]
    Severe Accident
    Testing

    [photo]
    Real-Life
    Accidents

    [DROP scenario]

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