Standard: IAEA - SSG-26


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Transport includes carriage by a common carrier or by the owner or the owner's employee where the carriage is incidental to the use of the radioactive material, such as vehicles carrying radiography devices being driven to and from the operations site by the radiographer, vehicles carrying density measuring gauges being driven to and from the construction site, and oil well logging vehicles carrying measuring devices containing radioactive material and radioactive material used in oil well injection.

The scenario referred to as ‘routine conditions of transport (incident free)' is intended to cover the use and transport of packages under everyday/routine operations (i.e. conditions of transport in which there are no minor mishaps or damaging incidents to the packages). However, a package, including its internal and external restraint systems, is required to be capable of withstanding the effects of the transport accelerations described in para. 613.1. (Appendix IV (Tables IV.1 and IV.2) details the typical accelerations that may be applied.)

The scenario referred to as ‘normal conditions of transport (minor mishaps)' is intended to cover situations in which the package is subjected to mishaps or incidents that range in severity up to the applicable test requirements for the package type concerned (i.e. Type IP-2, Type IP-3 or Type A). For example, the normal conditions of a free drop test for a Type A package are intended to simulate the type of mishap that a package would experience if it were to fall off the platform of a vehicle or if it were dropped during handling. In most cases, packages would be relatively undamaged and would continue their journey after having been subjected to these minor mishaps.

The scenario referred to as ‘accident conditions of transport' is intended to cover situations in which the package is subjected to incidents or accidents that range in severity from those having a severity greater than that covered by normal conditions of transport, up to the maximum severity levels imposed under the applicable test requirements for the type of package concerned (i.e. up to the damage severity resulting from the applicable tests for accident conditions of transport detailed in paras 726–737). For example, mechanical test requirements for Type B packages were first introduced in the 1964 Edition of the Transport Regulations, replacing the requirement for withstanding a ‘maximum credible accident'. On the assumption that Type B(U) or Type B(M) packages are likely to be used in all modes of transport, Type B(U) or Type B(M) test requirements are intended to take into account a large range of accidents for land, sea and air transport which can expose packages to severe dynamic forces, although the severity levels indicated by the test criterion are not intended to represent a worst case accident scenario. The potentially more severe accident forces in an air transport accident are taken into account by the Type C test requirements. 107.1. The Transport Regulations are not intended to be applied to:

(a) Radioactive material that forms an integral part of a means of transport, such as depleted uranium counterweights or tritium exit signs used in aircraft, or

(b) Radioactive material in persons or animals for medical or veterinary purposes, such as cardiac pacemakers or radioactive material introduced into humans or animals during diagnostic or therapeutic procedures, or

(c) Radioactive material in or on a person who is to be transported for medical treatment because the person has been subject to accidental or deliberate intake of radioactive material or to contamination. The treating physician, medical practitioner or veterinarian should give appropriate advice on radiological safety. Skin decontamination of persons should be considered prior to their transport, when the associated delay is estimated to have no health impact.

Consumer products are items available to the general public as the end user without further control or restriction. These may be devices such as smoke detectors, luminous dials or ion generating tubes that contain small amounts of radioactive substances. Consumer products are outside the scope of the Transport Regulations only after sale to the end user. Any transport, including the use of conveyances between manufacturers, distributors and retailers, is within the scope of the Transport Regulations to ensure that large quantities of individually exempted consumer products are not transported in an unregulated manner.

The principles of exemption and their application to the transport of radioactive material are dealt with in para. 402.

The scope of the Transport Regulations does not include ores and natural  or processed materials containing naturally occurring radionuclides, provided that the activity concentration of the materials does not exceed 10 times the exempt activity concentration values (Table 2 or calculated in accordance with paras 403–407).

Following the conclusion of the IAEA Coordinated Research Project (CRP) on Regulatory Control for the Safe Transport of Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material (NORM) [5], it was agreed that this exclusion does not depend on the prior or intended use of the material, i.e. whether it is to be used for its radioactive, fissile or fertile nuclides or not. The CRP modelling and analysis of realistic transport scenarios found that in cases when the provision of 10 times the exempt activity concentration values for this material is applied, the maximum annual dose from unregulated transport of the material would generally be substantially less than 1 mSv (referring to para. 71 of ICRP 104 [6], an annual dose criterion of 10 μSv does not apply to exposure situations involving natural sources, as this value is at least one or two orders of magnitude below the variability of the background radiation). The BSS [1] set an annual dose criterion of 1 mSv for exemption for NORM. The CRP concluded that the exclusion is appropriate from a radiological protection consideration and from a risk based regulatory consideration since the potential radiological dose from the material during transport is dependent on the activity concentration of the material. Guidance for determining activity levels and basic nuclide values is provided in paras 403–407 for reference in the use of Table 2. For ores and other natural or processed materials containing natural occurring radionuclides of the uranium–radium and/or thorium decay chain, the basic nuclide values for exempt activity concentration as given in Table 2 for U(nat) and Th(nat) can only be used if the radionuclides are in secular equilibrium. If this is not the case, this means that owing to processing activities such as chemical leaching or thermal treatment, the natural radioactive equilibrium state does not exist and the formula for mixtures of radionuclides according to para. 405 has to be applied to calculate the exempt activity concentration. As the value of activity concentration for exempt material of the Transport Regulations, Table 2, for example, for Th-228 is lower by a factor of 10 than the values for Ra-226 and Ra-228, as well as Pb-210 and Po-210, the limit of activity concentration decisively depends on the fraction of Th-228 (fTh-228) in the nuclide mixture, when applying the formula in para. 405. This issue is illustrated by the following example: In the process of extracting crude oil and natural gas, scaling takes place at the inner walls of the production pipes. The scales consist, in most cases, of barium

sulphate in which radium isotopes co-precipitate, while the parent nuclides (U-228, Th-232) do not occur in the scale deposit. Accordingly, the secular equilibrium of the U–Ra decay chain and/or Th decay chain is disturbed. While Pb-210 and Po-210 are slowly ‘regrowing' from Ra-226 (equilibrium is reached after about 100 years), Th-228 ‘regrows' from Ra-228 with a so-called ‘flowing equilibrium' within a few years. Therefore, the Th-228 fraction of the total activity increases with time (reaching an equilibrium of 1.46 times the Ra-228 activity concentration). The insertion of the measured activity concentrations as provided in Ref. [7] into the formula of para. 405 leads to the following exempt activity concentration (sum activity): (fRa-226 + fPb-210 + fPo-210 + fRa-228) = 0.84 and fTh-228 = 0.16 From this, it follows that 0.84/10 + 0.16/1 = 0.244, and that 1/0.244 = 4.1 Bq/g as exempt activity concentration, i.e. the sum activity of all relevant nuclides. This value can now be multiplied by 10 according to para. 107(f), while the specific activity of each radionuclide is given by its fraction. However, there are ores in nature where the activity concentration is much higher than the exemption values. The regular transport of these ores may require consideration of radiation protection measures. Hence, a factor of 10 times the exemption value for activity concentration was chosen as providing an appropriate balance between the radiological protection concerns and the practical inconvenience of regulating large quantities of material with low activity concentrations of naturally occurring radionuclides.

For checking exemption levels for surface contamination, see para. 413.7.

Although the Transport Regulations provide for the requisite safety in transport without the need for specified routeing, the regulatory authorities in some Member States have imposed routeing requirements. In prescribing routes, normal and accident risks, both radiological and non-radiological, as well as demographic considerations should be taken into account. Policies embodied in the routeing restrictions should be based upon all factors that contribute to the overall risk in transporting radioactive material and not only on concerns for ‘worst case' scenarios (i.e. ‘low probability/high consequence' accidents). Since the authorities at the State, provincial and even local levels may be involved in routeing decisions, it may often be necessary to provide them with either evaluations to assess alternative routes or with very simple methods which they can use.

In assessing the radiological hazards and ensuring that the routeing requirements do not detract from the standards of safety specified in the Transport Regulations, analyses using appropriate risk assessment codes should be undertaken. One such code which may be used, INTERTRAN [8], was developed through a CRP. This computer based environmental impact code is available for use by Member States. In spite of many uncertainties stemming from the use of a generalized model and the difficulty of selecting appropriate input values for accident conditions, this code may be used to calculate and understand, at least on a qualitative basis, the factors significant in determining the radiological impact due to routeing alternatives involving the transport of radioactive material. These factors are the important aspects that should be considered in any routeing decision. For routeing decisions involving a single mode of transport, many simplifying assumptions can be made and common factors can be assigned which result in easy to use relative risk evaluation techniques.

The consignor may also be required to provide evidence that measures to meet the requirements for safeguards and physical protection associated with shipments of nuclear material (as defined in the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material) are complied with. The consignor may also be required to provide evidence that measures to meet any requirements for security of certain shipments of radioactive material are also complied with.

Additional measures may be required by regulatory agencies to provide appropriate physical protection in the transport of radioactive material and to prevent acts without lawful authority which constitute the receipt, possession, use, transfer, alteration, disposal or dispersal of radioactive material and which cause, or are likely to cause, death or serious injury to any person or substantial damage to property. (See the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material, INFCIRC/274 Rev.1, IAEA, Vienna (1980) [9]; IAEA Nuclear Security Series No. 13, Nuclear Security Recommendations on Physical Protection of Nuclear Material and Nuclear Facilities (INFCIRC/225/Revision 5), (2011) [10] and IAEA Nuclear Security Series No. 9, Security in the Transport of Radioactive Material (2008) [11]).

See also Code of Conduct on the Safety and Security of Radioactive Sources, IAEA, Vienna (2004) [12] and Guidance on the Import and Export of Radioactive Sources, IAEA, Vienna (2005) [13].

See paras 506.1–506.2 and 507.1–507.9.

Organization: International Atomic Energy Agency
Document Number: ssg-26
Publish Date: 2014-01-01
Page Count: -2147483648
Available Languages: EN
DOD Adopted: NO
ANSI Approved: NO
Most Recent Revision: YES
Current Version: YES
Status: Active

This Standard References

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