The IAEA this week issued a report on the findings of an expert team that recently reviewed the transport of radioactive materials in the United Kingdom. The review -- organized at the request of the UK government -- was carried out between 9-21 June 2002 and included eleven experts from the IAEA, its Member States, and two international organizations, the International Maritime Organization and the International Civil Aviation Organization. The UK issued a press release on the mission this week.
The expert team addressed all modes of transport (road, rail, maritime, and air) but emphasized maritime transport. It considered all relevant aspects of the regulation of the transport of radioactive material in the UK with regard to the requirements specified in the IAEA Regulations for the Safe Transport of Radioactive Material; guidance provided in other IAEA documents; and other relevant transport safety-related international regulatory documents. Issues such as physical protection and legal liability were not addressed.
The appraisal did not find any issues that were safety critical. However, it resulted in recommendations and suggestions for areas in which the UK transport regulatory practice can be streamlined or improved. It also identified good practices that can serve as a model for other competent authorities in the radioactive material transport sector. The review was done in the framework of the IAEA's Transport Safety Appraisal Service (TranSAS), which was initiated to assist States in implementing the Agency's Transport Regulations.