Transport of radioactive materials
... reviews the measures in place to ensure safe
transport of radioactive materials.
Radioactive materials are routinely transported all around the world by air, sea, road and rail.
These materials include those associated with the nuclear fuel cycle — from uranium ores to spent fuel and radioactive waste — but also radionuclides for nuclear medicine and research, and radioactive sources for industry and radiotherapy.
Although the safety record of these transports is excellent, they sometimes cause concern in the areas through which they pass.
For example, a number of countries have expressed particular concern about ships carrying radioactive waste passing through or close to their territorial waters.
Regulations are, therefore, needed not just to ensure that the chances of an accident, which could result in radioactive material being dispersed in the environment, are kept to a minimum, but also to ensure that the workers involved in transport — including those loading and unloading shipments as well as drivers/pilots — are protected.
Because much of this transport is international, transport safety was one of the first areas in which the IAEA developed safety standards.
The IAEA Regulations for the Safe Transport of Radioactive Material were first published in 1961 and have been revised periodically since.