"How SAFE are radioactive material transportation packages?"



What are they?
When are they used?
How are they moved?
What's their construction?
Who uses them?
Who makes rules?
What are the requirements?
Safety Record
Hospitals and their suppliers common carrier Type A
Industrial radiography companies private carrier Type B
Soil testing laboratories private carrier Type B
Food irradiators contract carrier Type B
Medical supply sterilizers contract carrier Type B
Academic research institutes common & contract carrier all types
Nuclear energy fuel cycle facilities common & contract carrier all types
Nuclear weapons complex contract & government carrier all types

An agency or company that wants to ship RAM (shipper) often makes arrangements with a common or contract carrier or (where appropriate) a private carrier may transport the material. Packagings may be procured or provided by the carrier or a broker; or the shipper may procure the packagings.

Common Common and contract carriers provide a service to others. They carry other peoples' materials. Common carriers have published rates for hauling material, while contract carriers negotiate a specific contract with the shipper. Common and contract carriers are not licensed by the NRC. The responsibility for safety rests with the shipper, who must meet the requirements of DOT and NRC.

(e.g. Federal Express is a common carrier, whereas TriStates is a contract carrier.)

Private Private carriers own the radioactive material which they carry. The transport of material is accomplished in direct support of the radioactive material user's business. These carriers are licensed by the NRC. Examples of private carriers who transport their sources from one job site to another are:
  • Industrial Radiographers
  • Portable Gauge Users
  • Well Loggers
  • The transportation of radioactive materials is regulated jointly by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and the Department of Transportation (DOT). The responsibilities of the two agencies are generally divided as follows:

    DOT Regulates shippers and carriers of radioactive material and the conditions of transport (such as routing, tie-downs, vehicle requirements, handling and storage).
    NRC Regulates users of radioactive material and the design, construction, use and maintenance of shipping packages for more hazardous radioactive material shipments.

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