"How SAFE are radioactive material transportation packages?"
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Safety Record
A radioactive material (RAM) packaging is a container that is used to safely transport radioactive material from one location to another.

In RAM transportation the container alone is called the Packaging. The packaging together with its contents is called the Package.

Basic types of radioactive material packagings are:

Excepted Packaging Industrial Packaging Type A Packaging Type B Packaging
[EXCEPTED]
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[IP]
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[TYPE A]
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[TYPE B]
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Excepted Packagings are designed to survive normal conditions of transport.

Excepted packagings are used for transportation of materials that are either Low Specific Activity (LSA) or Surface Contaminated Objects (SCO) and that are limited quantity shipments, instruments or articles, articles manufactured from natural or depleted uranium or natural thorium; empty packagings are also excepted (49CFR 173.421-428).

Excepted packagings can be almost any packaging that meets the basic requirements, with any of the above contents. they are excepted from several labeling and documentation requirements.

Industrial Packagings (IP) are designed to survive normal conditions of transport (ip-1) and at least the DROP test and stacking test for Type A packagings (IP-2 and IP-3).

Industrial packagings (IP) are used for transportation of materials with very small amounts of radioacitivity (Low Specific Activity [LSA] or Surface Contaminated Objects [SCO]).

Industrial packagings (IP) are usually metal boxes or drums.

Type A Packagings are designed to survive normal transportation, handling, and minor accidents.

They are used for the transportation of limited quantities of radioactive material (RAM) that would not result in significant health effects if they were released.

Type B packagings are certified as Type A on the basis of performance requirements, which means it must survive certain tests.

Type A packagings may be cardboard boxes, wooden crates, or drums.

The shipper and carrier must have documentation of the certification of the packages being transported.

Type B Packagings must be able to survive severe accidents.

They are used for the transportation of large quantities of radioactive material.

A Type B packaging may be a metal drum or a huge, massive shielded transport container.

Type B packagings must meet severe accident performance standards that are considerably more rigorous than those required for Type A packages.

Type B packagings either have a Certificate Of Compliance (COC) by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) or Certificate of Competent Authority (COCA) by the Department of Transportation (DOT).


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