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A Straight-Forward Approach to Radioactive Material Shipping

Dwaine Brown ­ Halliburton Energy Services, Houston, TX Steve Woods ­ Halliburton Energy Services, Duncan, OK

INTRODUCTION The International Atomic Energy Agency estimates that between 18 and 38 million packages containing radioactive materials are transported each year throughout the world. This material may be radioactive waste, medical isotopes, industrial radiography sources, well logging sources, research materials, and of course nuclear fuel cycle materials. These shipments are made by land transport, air, or by sea. There are various agencies that regulate the commercial movement of radioactive materials and with minor variations primarily related to how a shipment is documented. The requirements are consistent for the control of exposure to radiation between the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) as implemented through the International Air Transport Association (IATA) regulations, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) as implemented through the International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code, and specific country regulations that address the ground transportation of radioactive materials such as the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT). Each agency has adopted requirements for the control of package contents and external radiation levels based on the criteria presented in IAEA Safety Standards Series, Requirements, No. TS-R1 (ST-1 Revised) and it is the basis of these Regulations that will be discussed here. Prior to 1959, the United States Interstate Commerce Commission regulations served as the basis for the various national and international

controls for the transport of radioactive materials. The rapid growth of the nuclear industry made the development of controls for the transport of all types and quantities of radioactive materials the highest priority of the IAEA shortly after its formation. The objectives of this article are to show how to: · Properly identify the material to be shipped · Properly classify a package containing radioactive material · Properly label and mark a radioactive materials package for shipment · Properly prepare shipping documentation DISCUSSION Radioactive Material (49 CFR 173.403) is defined as any material containing radionuclides, where both the activity concentration* and the total activity in the consignment** exceed the values specified in the table in 49 CFR 173.436 or values derived according to instructions in 49 CFR 173.433. See Tables 1 and 2. The following lists are an attempt to outline, in very simple terms, the US shipping requirements. First, we must classify the material by asking the following questions: · · · · · Is it fissile? Is it fissile excepted? Is it a Limited Quantity? Is it a Type A Quantity? Is it Special Form?


Radiation Protection Management · Volume 21, No. 5 · 2004

Table 1. Radioactive Material Radionuclide Am-241 Co-57 Co-60 Cs-137 Gd-153 I-131 Ir-192 K-40 Ra-226 T(Tritium) H-3 Th-natural U-Natural * Activity Concentration for Exempt Material Bq/gm 1 H 100 1 H 102 1 H 101 1 H 101 1 H 102 1 H 102 1 H 101 1 H 102 1 H 101 1 H 106 1 H 100 1 H 100 Activity Limit for an Exempt Consignment Bq/gm 1 H 104 1 H 106 1 H 105 1 H 104 1 H 107 1 H 106 1 H 104 1 H 106 1 H 104 1 H 109 1 H 103 1 H 103

Activity concentration is also called specific activity ** Consignment is a package or group of packages or load of radioactive material offered by a person for transport in the same shipment.

Table 2. A1 and A2 Values for Selected Radionuclides Radionuclide Am-241 Co-57 Co-60 Cs-137 Gd-153 I-131 Ir-192 K-40 Ra-226 T(Tritium H-3 Th-natural U ­ Natural A1 Values 2 TBq (50 Ci) 8 TBq (200 Ci) 0.4 TBq (10 Ci) 2 TBq (50 Ci) 10 TBq (200 Ci) 3 TBq (80 Ci) 1 TBq (20 Ci) 0.6 TBq (10 Ci) 0.3 TBq (8 Ci) 40 TBq (1000 Ci) unlimited unlimited A2 Values 0.0002 TBq (0.005 Ci) 8 TBq (200 Ci) 0.4 TBq (10 Ci) 0.5 TBq (10 Ci) 5 TBq (100 Ci) 0.5 TBq (10 Ci) 0.5 TBq (10 Ci) 0.6 TBq (10 Ci) 0.02 TBq (0.5 Ci) 40 TBq (1000 Ci) unlimited unlimited RQ Values 0.00037 TBq (0.01Ci) 3.7 TBq (100 Ci) 0.37 TBq (10 Ci) 0.037 TBq (1 Ci) 0.37 TBq (10 Ci) 0.00037 TBq (0.01 Ci) 0.37 TBq (10 Ci) 0.037 TBq (1 Ci) 0.0037 TBq (0.1 Ci) 3.7 TBq (100 Ci) 0.0004 TBq (0.011 Ci) 0.0019 TBq (0.052 Ci)

RQ is the reportable quantity. US requirement.

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Table 3. Excepted Package Limits

Nature of contents Instruments and Articles Item Limits Solids Special Form Other Forms Liquids Gases Tritium H-3 Special Form Other Forms 2 H 10-2A2 10-3A1 10-3A2 2 H 10-1 A2 10-2 A1 10-2 A2 2 H 10-2A2 10-3A1 10-3A2 10-2A1 10-2A2 10-3A2 A1 A2 10-1 A2 10-3A1 10-3A2 10-4A2 Package Limits Materials Package Limits (RAM-Limited Quantity)

Excepted Packages (see Table 3), defined as: · · · · Materials (limited quantity) Instruments and articles (item limits) Instruments and articles (package limits) Instruments and manufactured articles are clocks, electronic tubes, or apparatus having radioactive material as a component part.

Type A Package Requirements · Meet General Package requirements · Smallest outside dimension >100 mm · Capability of installing a tamper-proof seal · Forces on tie-down attachment must not damage package during transport · Temperature range -40oC to + 70oC · No loss or dispersal of material or a 20% increase in radiation level after water spray, free drop, stacking, and penetration tests. Special Form Requirements · Indispersible solid or sealed capsule which meets the following: 6 Capsule can only be opened by destroying it 6 Have one dimension not less than 5mm 6 Design received unilateral approval

General Requirements for Packaging · · · · · Easily and safely handled and transported Strong lifting attachments when necessary Free from protruding features Surface will not retain water Withstand effects of acceleration and vibration · Physically and chemically compatible components · Temperature range from -40º C. to +55º C.


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· Demonstration of compliance with the standards can be done by performance, reference to previous tests, or calculations · Subjected to impact test, percussion test, leaching test, volumetric leakage test, bending test, and heat test · Would not break or shatter under the impact, percussion or bending tests · Would not melt or disperse in the heat test · Would not leak Package Label Requirements · Label must be readily visible and legible · "Type A" must be stamped or printed as required · Proper shipping name · UN Number 6 Excepted packages only require UN Number · Shipper and Consignee with addresses · Gross mass if exceeding 50 kg · Identification of primary hazard · Able to withstand open weather exposure · Two labels which conform to the appropriate category on two opposite sides of the package or on the outside of all four sides of the freight container · Labels must not be folded · Label must not overlap · Cargo Aircraft Only label for goods transported into or out of US · Category Labels must have 6 Contents ­ symbol of radionuclide ­ mixtures as space permits 6 Activity in Bq can have Ci in parentheses 6 Transport Index for category II and III

Proper Shipping Names · Radioactive Material, Excepted Package, Limited Quantity of Material, UN2910 · "Radioactive Material, Excepted Package, Instruments" or "Radioactive Material, Excepted Package, Articles," both UN2911 · Radioactive Material, Excepted Package, Articles Manufactured From "Natural Uranium," "Depleted Uranium," or "Natural Thorium" all UN2909 · Radioactive Material, Excepted Package, Empty Packaging, UN2908 · Radioactive Material, Type A Package, Non-Special Form, Non Fissile, UN2915 · Radioactive Material, Type A Package, Special Form, Non Fissile, UN3332 · "RQ" indicated on the declaration when required · RQ, Radioactive Material, Type A Package, Special Form, Non Fissile, UN3332 Empty Packages · · · · Previously contained radioactive material Well maintained and securely closed No loose contamination Any labels which may have been displayed are no longer visible

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Table 4. Transport Index Category I-WHITE II-YELLOW Maximum radiation level at any point on External surface Not more than 0.005mSv/hr (0.5 mrem/hr) More than 0.005 mSv/hr (0.5mrem/hr) but Not more than 0.5 mSv/hr(50 mrem/hr) More than 0.5 mSv/hr(50 mrem/hr) but Not more than 2 mSv/hr (200 mrem/hr) More than 2 mSv/hr(200 mrem/hr) but not more than 10 mSv/hr (1,000 mrem/hr) Transport Index 0 (< 0.05) 0 to < 1


1 to < 10

III-YELLOW and also Under exclusive use

More than 10

The sum of the transport indices cannot exceed 50 for a single shipment. Cargo Aircraft Only

Overpacks · An enclosure that is used by a single consignor to provide protection or convenience in handling of a package or to consolidate two or more packages. · Packages of radioactive material may be combined in an overpack for transport. · Only the shipper is permitted to take a direct measurement of the radiation level to determine the TI.

Must have: · Proper shipping name · UN number · All labels except for the "Type A" package label that are required on the inner package must be reproduced on the outside of the overpack · Markings required by other international regulations are permitted · In addition to the languages of the State of Origin, English should be used. · RQ marked on package for shipments entering or leaving the US


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Additional Package Markings IMDG · Requires a shipper's mark be placed on the package or overpack ­ initials of the company (ex: HES) at least 2 inches in height · Tracking number (ex: the RMA number) or other locally generated serial number · City of destination · Number of packages (ex: 1 of 1, 1 of 2) Placarding · Four placards front, back and both sides · Required for Category III in US · May be required for all Category labels out side US ­ check local rules · Enlarged category labels may be used in place of placards (ICAO and IMO only, not US Ground) Shippers Declaration for Dangerous Goods · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · Two copies completed and signed Proper shipping name Class- Radioactive Material class 7 UN number Number of Packages Subsidiary risk Indication of Passenger or Cargo-Only Indication of Radioactive or NonRadioactive Special handling information Indication if an overpack has been used Full name and address of shipper and consignee Airport or City of departure and destination The words Radioactive Material if not contained in the shipping name Name or symbol of Radionuclide(s) Activity in Bq, may have Ci in parentheses Description of physical and chemical or a notation that it is Special Form Competent Authority Certificate mark Category Label, I, II, or III For II and III Transport Index and package dimensions

· Emergency contact information · SIGNATURE certifying shipment Airway Bill · Must contain a statement to indicate that dangerous goods are described on accompanying DGD · When applicable indicate Cargo Aircraft Only or CAO · For Excepted Packages ­ in the Nature and Quantity of Goods box list proper shipping name with UN number Additional Documentation · · · · · Competent Authority Certificates Sealed Source Certificates Leak Test Certificates Emergency Response Guide Locally required transportation documents

CONCLUSION In conclusion, if these elemental guidelines are followed, the mystery and fear associated with packaging, marking, labeling and shipping sealed radioactive sources is eliminated. A shipment prepared in this manner may be consigned with full confidence that the package and the supporting documentation have been prepared in full compliance with the applicable regulations and the shipment may be completed without delay. As with any activity associated with Dangerous Goods that are highly regulated the governing rules change and eternal vigilance is demanded to remain abreast of the current requirements for shipping, especially in the area of regulatory notifications required for the shipment of certain quantities.

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The preceding guidance has been in place for a number of years, with subtle changes such as shipping name and UN number changes. That being said, the fundamentals for the preparation and documentation of a shipment of radioactive materials have changed little over the years with concerns over shipment and storage security being the most significant of the recent changes The Authors Dwaine Brown, Global Lead Radiation Officer for Halliburton Energy Services, a petroleum industry support contractor, has over 30 years experience in operational health physics. Mr. Brown, who earned his Bachelor of Science in Nuclear Technology from the University of the State of New York, began his career in the United States Navy's Nuclear Submarine Program. His career spans both the commercial nuclear power and the environmental industries, where he has managed both private sector and government decontamination and decommissioning projects as well as Department of Energy environmental restoration projects, for which he developed Safety Analysis Reports. Mr. Brown is currently responsible for a Radiation Safety Program that involves the domestic and international shipment of radioactive materials on a daily basis. He is a member of the Board of Directors for the National Registry of Radiation Protection Technologists (NRRPT).

Steve Woods, Radiation Safety Officer for Halliburton Energy Services is based in Duncan, OK and has over 15 years experience as a Radiation Safety Officer. Mr. Woods earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Oklahoma and has worked as an instructor in the Navy's Nuclear Power Program at one of the Navy's prototype facilities. Mr. Woods is involved in domestic and international shipments of radioactive materials as well as supporting the development of training programs and the delivery of this training for the shipment of radioactive materials. Mr. Woods is a member of the State of Oklahoma Radiation Control Advisory Board which reports to the Governor of Oklahoma for issues related to Radiation Safety.

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Radiation Protection Management · Volume 21, No. 5 · 2004


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