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Technical Article 1

Safety Regulations Governing the Transport of Radioactive Material[1]

Introduction

Each day thousands of shipments of radioactive materials of all kinds are transported on international and national routes. Radioactive consignments, which are carried by road, rail, sea, air and inland waterways, can range from smoke detectors, cobalt sources for medical and industrial uses, to nuclear fuel cycle materials for electricity generation.[2]

The safety of these shipments is ensured by a stringent regulatory regime that has been continuously reviewed and updated over the past several decades.[3] The safety measures have been developed to protect people, property and the environment against the hazards posed by the cargoes.[4]

In 1961, the IAEA Regulations for the Safe Transport of Radioactive Material were published on the basis of expertise provided by Member States as well as international organisations.[5]

Although they are called Regulations they are, in fact, recommended regulatory standards for international transport activities.[6]

It is incumbent on each State or international/regional organisation to decide on their application.[7] By 1969, the IAEA Regulations had been adopted or used as a basis for regulations in many Member States.[8]

The principal international organisations having responsibility for transport by land, sea, air and inland waterways have incorporated the IAEA Regulations into their own regulations. The United Nations Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods have always referred to the IAEA Regulations, and fully integrate them. As a result, the Regulations apply to the transport of radioactive material almost anywhere in the world.[9]


The IAEA Regulations for the Safe Transport of Radioactive Material[10]

The IAEA Regulations have been reviewed regularly to keep pace with scientific and technological developments.[11] The Regulations are based on the fundamental principle that radioactive material being transported should be packaged adequately to provide protection against the various hazards of the material under both normal and potential accident conditions.[12] Safety, therefore, relies primarily on the packaging whatever the transport mode.[13] The prime objective is to protect people, property and the environment against the direct and indirect effects of radiation during transport. The requirements laid down in the Regulations must ensure the containment of the radioactive contents, the control of the external radiation level, the prevention of a chain reaction and the prevention of damage caused by heat.[14] Because safety depends primarily on the packaging, the Regulations set out several performance standards in this area.[15] They provide for five different primary packages (Excepted, Industrial, Type A, Type B and Type C) and set the criteria for their design according to both the activity and the physical form of the radioactive material they may contain. The IAEA Regulations lay down corresponding test procedures to demonstrate compliance with the required performance standards. The Regulations also detail marking and labelling provisions, and requirements imposed on packages during transit.

International and regional modal regulations or agreements

The provisions of the IAEA Regulations are not only reflected in the national requirements of Member States, but also in the regulations relative to each mode of transport as issued by international or regional bodies.[16]


Sea transport

In 1965, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) published a major international instrument known as the International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code (IMDG Code).[17] This Code is for the carriage of dangerous goods of any kind by sea.[18] It addresses matters such as packing and container stowage, with particular reference to the segregation of incompatible substances.[19] The IMO provisions for radioactive material are based on the IAEA Regulations. The IMDG Code offers guidance to those involved in the handling and transport of radioactive material during sea transport.[20] In 1993, the IMO also established the Code for the Safe Carriage of Irradiated Nuclear Fuel, Plutonium and High-Level Radioactive Wastes in Flasks on Board Ships (INF Code) to complement the IAEA Regulations.[21] Although the package design remains the primary safety measure, this Code introduces recommendations for the design of vessels transporting radioactive material. These complementary provisions address such issues as stability after damage, fire protection, and structural resistance. In January 2001, the INF Code was made mandatory and renamed the International Code for the Safe Carriage of Packaged Irradiated Nuclear Fuel, Plutonium and High-Level Radioactive Waste on Board Ships.[22]


Air transport[23]

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has responsibility for all aspects of international civil aviation.[24] It develops standards and recommended practices through the development of Annexes to the 1944 Convention on International Civil Aviation.[25] In 1981, the ICAO adopted Annex 18 covering the air transport of dangerous goods and, in addition, published a set of Technical Instructions (TI) detailing the requirements for these transports.[26] The TI contain a list of dangerous goods, as well as requirements for packing, marking, labelling and documentation fully consistent with the IAEA Regulations.[27] The International Air Transport Association (IATA), a trade association representing airlines, publishes annually the Dangerous Goods Regulations (DGR) which are consistent with the ICAO TI as well as the IAEA Regulations.[28]


Land transport[29][30]

The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UN/ECE) publishes the European Agreement concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road (known as ADR).[31] It contains requirements for the listing, classification, marking, labelling and packaging of dangerous goods by road.[32] The IAEA Regulations have been adopted to apply to the transport of radioactive material under the ADR.[33] Currently there are 46 contracting States to this Agreement.[34] The Intergovernmental Organisation for International Carriage by Rail (OTIF) is responsible for the regulations concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Rail (RID).[35] These are included in the convention concerning the Intergovernmental Organisation for International Carriage by Rail .[36] Today there are 42 Contracting parties to these Regulations, which apply the IAEA Transport Safety Regulations.[37] The MERCOSUR/MERCOSUL1 Agreement[38] of Partial Reach to Facilitate the Transport of Dangerous Goods signed by Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay regulates the road and rail transport of dangerous goods, including radioactive material, between these States and is consistent with the IAEA Transport Safety Regulations.


Other modes of transport

For inland waterways, the UN/ECE has developed the European Agreement concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road with the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Inland Waterways (ADN),[39] while the Central Commission for the Navigation on the Rhine (CCNR) has promulgated the Provision concerning the Carriage of Dangerous Goods on the Rhine (ADNR).[40] These agreements have adopted the IAEA Regulations as the requirements for the transport of radioactive material.[41] Transport of radioactive material by post is regulated by the Universal Postal Convention[42] and its detailed regulations, published by the Universal Postal Union.[43] The Convention allows the transport of exempted quantities of radioactive material, within the meaning of the IAEA Regulations, and must conform to IAEA prescriptions.[44][45]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.wnti.co.uk/nuclear-transport-facts-.aspx/faqs
  2. ^ http://www-pub.iaea.org/MTCD/publications/PDF/Pub1325_web.pdf
  3. ^ http://www.wnti.co.uk/UserFiles/FS1_EN_AUG10_V1.pdf
  4. ^ http://www.epa.gov/radtown/freight-train.html
  5. ^ http://www.nationsencyclopedia.com/United-Nations-Related-Agencies/The-International-Atomic-Energy-Agency-IAEA-ACTIVITIES.html
  6. ^ http://ec.europa.eu/energy/nuclear/transport/transport_radioact_en.html
  7. ^ http://www-pub.iaea.org/MTCD/publications/PDF/Pub1200_web.pdf
  8. ^ http://www.wnti.co.uk/UserFiles/RS1_EN_AUG10_V1.pdf
  9. ^ http://www.hse.gov.uk/cdg/manual/regenvirnment.html
  10. ^ http://www-pub.iaea.org/MTCD/publications/PDF/Pub1225_web.pdf
  11. ^ http://www.nda.gov.uk/documents/upload/Geological-Disposal-Generic-Transport-package-safety-December-2010.pdf
  12. ^ http://www.wnti.co.uk/nuclear-transport-facts-/regulations-.aspx
  13. ^ http://www.experts123.com/q/how-are-nuclear-materials-transported.html
  14. ^ http://www.french-nuclear-safety.fr/index.php/English-version/News-releases/2011/Transport-of-radioactive-materials
  15. ^ http://www.wnti.co.uk/nuclear-transport-facts-/what-is-transported-and-how/non-fuel-cycle/packages.aspx
  16. ^ http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/1978/1779/made?view=plain
  17. ^ http://www.wnti.co.uk/nuclear-transport-facts-/regulations-/sea.aspx
  18. ^ http://www.imo.org/blast/mainframe.asp?topic_id=158
  19. ^ http://www.tuscorlloyds.com/useful-tools/hazardous-goods/
  20. ^ http://www.areva.com/EN/operations-1358/return-shipment-of-vitrified-residues-from-france-to-japan.html
  21. ^ http://www.wnti.co.uk/UserFiles/File/public/publications/factsheets/wnti_fs-1.pdf
  22. ^ http://www.imo.org/OurWork/Safety/Cargoes/Pages/IrradiatedNuclearFuel.aspx
  23. ^ http://www.cna.ca/english/pdf/nuclearfacts/22-nuclear-transportation.pdf
  24. ^ http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/290769/International-Civil-Aviation-Organization-ICAO
  25. ^ http://www.wnti.co.uk/nuclear-transport-facts-/regulations-/air-and-postal.aspx
  26. ^ http://legacy.icao.int/eshop/pub/anx_info/annexes_booklet_en.pdf
  27. ^ http://www-pub.iaea.org/MTCD/publications/PDF/pub1269_web.pdf
  28. ^ http://www.iata.org/whatwedo/cargo/dangerous_goods/Pages/index.aspx
  29. ^ http://www.wnti.co.uk/nuclear-transport-facts-/regulations-/land.aspx
  30. ^ http://www.wnti.co.uk/UserFiles/INLA_conference_paper%20_final_.pdf
  31. ^ http://www.unece.org/trans/danger/publi/adr/adr_e.html
  32. ^ http://www.businesslink.gov.uk/bdotg/action/detail?itemId=1078039652&type=RESOURCES
  33. ^ http://www.unece.org/trans/danger/what.html
  34. ^ http://www.unece.org/trans/conventn/agreem_cp.html
  35. ^ http://www.otif.org/en/publications/rid-2011.html
  36. ^ http://www.otif.org/en/dangerous-goods/2009-edition-of-rid.html
  37. ^ www-pub.iaea.org/MTCD/publications/PDF/Pub1384_web.pdf
  38. ^ http://www.wnti.co.uk/UserFiles/FS1_EN_AUG10_V1.pdf
  39. ^ http://www.unece.org/fileadmin/DAM/trans/conventn/adne.pdf
  40. ^ http://www.ccr-zkr.org/12020400-en.html
  41. ^ http://www-ns.iaea.org/tech-areas/radiation-safety/transport.asp
  42. ^ http://www.wnti.co.uk/nuclear-transport-facts-/regulations-/air-and-postal.aspx
  43. ^ http://lettersblogatory.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/UPC.pdf
  44. ^ http://trid.trb.org/view.aspx?id=227391
  45. ^ http://www-pub.iaea.org/MTCD/publications/PDF/Pub1200_web.pdf

External links[edit]

Category:Nuclear organizations __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Technical Article 2:

Package Types used for Transporting radioactive material[1]

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Regulations for the Safe Transport of radioactive material set the recommended regulatory standards for international transport activities.[2] The basic concept is that safety is vested principally in the package which has to provide shielding to protect workers, the public and the environment against the effects of radiation, to prevent an unwanted chain reaction, to prevent damage caused by heat and also to provide protection against dispersion of the contents.[3] All this has to be achieved under normal conditions and also accident conditions of transport for the more highly radioactive materials. In addition, it is important to reduce radiation doses to workers and the public as far as reasonably achievable by adopting best practice at the operating level.[4]


The Regulations provide for five different types of package:[5]

Excepted[6]

Industrial[7]

Type A[8]

Type B[9]

Type C[10]


This classification relates to the activity and the physical form of the radioactive material contained in the package.[11] The IAEA also sets performance standards - design requirements and test procedures - for each package type.[12] This graded approach to packaging whereby the package integrity is related to the potential hazard is important for efficient commercial transport operations.[13] It also takes into account the different conditions of transport characterised by the IAEA as follows:[14]


- conditions likely to be encountered in routine transport[15]

- normal conditions of transport (minor mishaps)[16]

- accident conditions[17]


There are general design requirements which apply to all packages to ensure that they can be handled safely and easily, secured properly and are able to withstand the effects of any acceleration and vibration.[18]


Excepted packages[19]

Excepted packages are packages in which the allowed radioactive content is restricted to such low levels that the potential hazards are insignificant and therefore no testing is required with regard to containment or shielding integrity. A common example of an excepted package is the postal package used to carry radiopharmaceuticals for medical purposes.[20]


Industrial packages[21]

Industrial packages are used to transport two types of material: - material having low activity per unit mass (known as Low Specific Activity or LSA material). Items classified as LSA material include hospital waste.[22] - non-radioactive objects having low levels of surface contamination (known as Surface Contaminated Objects or SCO). Fuel cycle machinery or parts of nuclear reactors, whose surfaces have been contaminated by coolant or process water, are considered as SCO. Both types of material are inherently safe, either because the contained activity is very low, or because the material is not in a form easily dispersible.[23]

Industrial Packages (IP) are sub-divided into three categories designated as IP-1, IP-2 and IP-3, which differ regarding the degree to which they are required to withstand routine and normal conditions of transport. The required tests simulate normal transport conditions such as a fall from a vehicle, exposure to rain, or being struck by a sharp object, or having other cargo stacked on top. Packages used in industry such as steel drums or bins could meet these various requirements, but purpose designed packages are also frequently used. The choice depends on the characteristics of the material.[24] Some typical materials transported in industrial packages are low-level and intermediate-level radioactive waste, or ores containing naturally occurring radionuclides (e.g. uranium or thorium) and concentrates of such ores.


Industrial Package Requirements Criteria:[25]

IP-1[26]

IP-2[27]

IP-3[28]


Design requirements:[29]

IP-1 General requirements for all packages[30]

IP-1 Additional pressure and temperature requirements if transported by air[31]

IP-2 General requirements for all packages[32]

IP-2 Additional pressure and temperature requirements if transported by air[33]

IP-3 General requirements for all packages[34]

IP-3 Additional pressure and temperature requirements if transported by air[35]

IP-3 Type A additional requirements[36]


Test requirements[37]

- normal transport conditions[38]

IP-2 Free drop (from 0.3 to 1.2 metres, depending on the mass of the package)[39]

IP-2 Stacking or compression[40]


Each of the following tests must be preceded by a water spray test:[41]

IP-3 free drop (from 0.3 to 1.2 metres, depending on the mass of the package)[42]

IP-3 stacking or compression[43]


Type A packages[44]

Type A packages are used for the transport of relatively small, but significant, quantities of radioactive material.[45] Because it is assumed that this type of package theoretically could be damaged in a severe accident and that a portion of their contents may be released, the amount of radionuclides they can contain is limited by the IAEA Regulations. In the event of a release, these limits ensure that the risks from external radiation or contamination are very low. Type A packages are required to maintain their integrity during normal transport conditions and therefore are subjected to tests simulating these conditions.[46]

Type A packages are used to transport radioisotopes for medical diagnosis or teletherapy, technetium, generators used to assist in the diagnosis of certain cancers, and also for some nuclear fuel cycle materials.[47]


Type A Package Requirements[48] Criteria Requirements[49] Design requirements[50]

- General requirements for all packages[51]

- Additional pressure and temperature requirements if transported by air[52]

- Type A additional requirements (seals, tie-downs, temperature, containment, reduced pressure, valves)[53]


Test requirements[54]

Normal transport conditions[55]

Each of the following tests must be preceded by a water spray test:[56]

- free drop (from 0.3 – 1.2 metres, depending on the mass of the package)[57]

- stacking or compression[58]

- penetration (6kg bar dropped from 1 metre)[59]


Type B packages[60]

Type B packages are required for the transport of highly radioactive material.[61] These packages must withstand the same normal transport conditions as Type A packages, but because their contents exceed the Type A limits, it is necessary to specify additional resistance to release of radiation or radioactive material due to accidental damage.[62] The concept is that this type of package must be capable of withstanding expected accident conditions, without breach of its containment or an increase in radiation to a level which would endanger the general public and those involved in rescue or clean-up operations.[63] The adequacy of the package to this requirement is demonstrated by stringent accident conditions testing.[64] Type B packages are used to transport material as different as unencapsulated radioisotopes for medical and research uses, spent nuclear fuel, and vitrified high-level waste.[65]


Type B Package Requirements[66] Criteria Requirements[67] Design requirements[68]

- General requirements for all packages[69]

- Additional pressure and temperature requirements if transported by air[70]

- Type A additional requirements[71]

- Type B additional requirements (internal heat generation and maximum surface temperature)[72]


Test requirements -[73]

normal transport conditions[74]

Each of the following tests must be preceded by a water spray test:[75]

- free drop (from 0.3 to 1.2 metres, depending on the mass of the package)[76]

- stacking or compression[77]

- penetration 6kg bar dropped from 1 metre[78]


Test requirements -[79]

accidental transport conditions[80]

Cumulative effects of:[81]

- free drop from 9 metres or dynamic crush test (drop of a 500kg mass from 9 metres onto a specimen)[82]

- puncture test[83]

- thermal test (fire of 800°C intensity for 30 minutes)[84]

- immersion (15 metres for 8 hours)[85]


Enhanced immersion test for packages carrying a large amount of radioactive material:[86]

- 200 metres for 1 hour[87]


Type C packages[88]

The 1996 Edition of the IAEA Transport Regulations introduced a requirement for a more robustly designed package – the Type C Package – to transport the more highly radioactive material by air.[89] Type C packages must satisfy all the additional requirements of Type A packages and most of the additional requirements of Type B packages.[90] Type C packages are submitted to a series of tests to prove their ability to withstand transport incidents and accidents. This type of package has not yet been developed.[91]


Type C Package Requirements[92]

Criteria Requirements[93]

Design requirements[94]

- General requirements for all packages[95]

- Additional pressure and temperature requirements if transported by air[96]

- Type A additional requirements[97]

- Type B additional requirements (internal heat generation and maximum surface temperature)[98]


Test requirements -[99]

normal transport conditions[100]

Each of the following tests must be preceded by a water spray test:[101]

- free drop (from 0.3 to 1.2 metres, depending on the mass of the package[102]

- stacking or compression[103]

- penetration 6kg bar dropped from 1 metre[104]


Test requirements -[105]

accidental transport conditions[106]

Test sequence on one specimen in the following order:[107]

- free drop from 9 metres[108]

- dynamic crush test (drop of a 500kg mass from 9 metres onto a specimen)[109]

- puncture test[110]

- enhanced thermal test (fire of 800°C intensity for 60 minutes)[111]


A separate specimen may be used for the following test:[112]

- impact test (not less than 90 metres per second)[113]


Packages for fissile material[114]

Nuclear fuel cycle materials containing enriched uranium or plutonium are fissile, i.e. they can support a chain reaction.[115] Such unwanted chain reactions are prevented during normal and accidental transport conditions by the design of the package, the arrangement of the fissile material in it and also the configuration of multiple packages.[116]


Packages for uranium hexafluoride[117]

The IAEA Regulations include requirements for packages containing uranium hexafluoride (Hex) which are specific to this material.[118]

These packages must meet the following test requirements:[119]

- withstand a pressure test of at least 1.4MPa[120]

- withstand a free drop test – the drop height - depending on the mass[121]

- withstand a thermal test at a temperature of 800°C for 30 minutes[122]

References[edit]

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  11. ^ http://www.aerb.gov.in/cgi-bin/Transport/TRANSPORT.asp
  12. ^ http://mrws.decc.gov.uk/en/mrws/cms/disposal/transport_of_r/transport_of_r.aspx
  13. ^ http://mrws.decc.gov.uk/en/mrws/cms/disposal/transport_of_r/transport_of_r.aspx
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  82. ^ http://www-pub.iaea.org/MTCD/publications/PDF/te_702_prn.pdf
  83. ^ http://www.sandia.gov/tp/SAFE_RAM/FULLSCL.HTM
  84. ^ http://www.ccnr.org/lyman_erap.html
  85. ^ http://www.wnti.co.uk/nuclear-transport-facts-/what-is-transported-and-how/back-end/packages.aspx
  86. ^ http://www.unece.org/fileadmin/DAM/trans/danger/publi/adr/adr2011/English/VolumeII.pdf
  87. ^ http://www.nci.org/i/ib71197.htm
  88. ^ http://www-ns.iaea.org/tech-areas/emergency/iec/frg/ti1-transport.asp
  89. ^ http://www.iaea.org/Publications/Magazines/Bulletin/Bull391/rawl.html
  90. ^ http://wnti.co.uk/UserFiles/File/public/publications/factsheets/wnti_fs-2.pdf
  91. ^ http://www.wnti.co.uk/UserFiles/FS2_EN_AUG10_V1.pdf
  92. ^ http://www.ehs.ualberta.ca/en/DocumentsandProcedures/~/media/6EB99797E9294A518D4D9283348225B5.ashx
  93. ^ http://www.unece.org/fileadmin/DAM/trans/danger/publi/unrec/rev13/English/11E_Part5.pdf
  94. ^ http://www.iaea.org/Publications/Magazines/Bulletin/Bull391/39102584243.pdf
  95. ^ http://www-pub.iaea.org/MTCD/publications/PDF/Pub1384_web.pdf
  96. ^ http://www.ccnr.org/lyman_casks.html
  97. ^ http://hpschapters.org/northcarolina/fall2007/Adventures%20in%20Type%20A%20Package%20Testing.pdf
  98. ^ http://www.hss.doe.gov/nuclearsafety/nfsp/fire/trainingdocs/rmem2.pdf
  99. ^ http://www.sandia.gov/tp/SAFE_RAM/TESTING.HTM
  100. ^ http://www.nucleonica.net/wiki/index.php?title=A1,_A2
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  106. ^ http://ec.europa.eu/energy/nuclear/transport/doc/final-version-study1.pdf
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  108. ^ http://www.em.doe.gov/PDFs/transPDFs/ramquestions.pdf
  109. ^ http://www.sandia.gov/tp/SAFE_RAM/FORCES1.HTM
  110. ^ http://www.orau.org/ptp/PTP%20Library/library/DOE/TRANSPORTATION/pakageperformance.pdf
  111. ^ http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2002/1093/schedule/9/made
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  114. ^ http://www.sandia.gov/tp/SAFE_RAM/target/hardness.htm
  115. ^ http://www.wnti.co.uk/UserFiles/4_%20Emergency%20Preparedness%20and%20Response.pdf
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  117. ^ http://www.wnti.co.uk/nuclear-transport-facts-.aspx/faqs
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  122. ^ http://net-science.irsn.org/net-science/liblocal/docs/docs_DSU/patram04D.pdf

External links[edit]

Category:Nuclear organizations ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Nuclear fuel cycle Transport – Front End Materials[1]

Introduction

Nuclear power currently supplies around 14% of the world’s demand for electricity making clean,carbon-free, affordable energy available to people the world over.[2] The majority of these reactors are either pressurised water reactors or boiling water reactors and in both cases the primary fuel is enriched uranium oxide.[3] The fuel core for these light water reactors typically contains many fuel assemblies consisting of sealed fuel rods each filled with uranium dioxide pellets.[4] To sustain this important source of energy it is essential that nuclear fuel cycle materials continue to be transported internationally both safely and efficiently.[5] The transport of nuclear materials is strictly regulated and has an outstanding safety record spanning several decades.[6]

Nuclear fuel cycle transports are commonly designated as either front end or back end.[7] The front end covers all the operations from the mining of uranium to the manufacture of new fuel assemblies for loading into the reactors, i.e. the transport of uranium ore concentrates to uranium hexafluoride conversion facilities, from conversion facilities to enrichment plants, from enrichment plants to fuel fabricators and from fuel fabricators to the various nuclear power plants.[8] The back end covers all the operations concerned with the spent fuel which leaves the reactors, i.e. the shipment of spent fuel elements from nuclear power plants to reprocessing facilities for recycling, and the subsequent transport of the products of reprocessing.[9] Alternatively, if the once-through option is chosen, the spent fuel is transported to interim storage facilities pending its final disposal.[10] This information covers the transport of front end materials.

Mining to produce uranium ore concentrate[11]

The raw material to make nuclear fuel is uranium ore, the main sources of which are found in North America, Australia, Southern Africa and Central Asia.[12] The ore typically contains about 1.5% uranium but some deposits are much richer.[13] The ore is first ground and purified using chemical and physical processes to yield a dry powder of natural uranium oxide known as uranium ore concentrate, or UOC.[14] The historical name for UOC was yellowcake because the early concentrates were typically yellow in colour.[15] UOC is a low specific activity material and the radiological hazard is very low.[16] It is normally transported in sealed 210 litre drums (an Industrial Package) in standard sea (ISO) freight containers.[17] These can be transported by road, rail or sea, and in many cases a combination of modes of transport is used.[18] The UOC is transported to conversion plants for conversion into uranium hexafluoride (Hex).[19]

Conversion of uranium ore concentrate to uranium hexafluoride[20]

UOC is transported worldwide from the mining areas to conversion plants located in North America, Europe and Russia.[21] It is first chemically purified and then converted by a series of chemical processes into natural Hex, which is the form required for the following enrichment stage.[22] The natural Hex produced from the conversion of UOC is a very important intermediate in the manufacture of new reactor fuel.[23] There is a very large commercial trading in it that involves international transport.[24] In the production process, large cylindrical steel transport cylinders some 1.25m (48”) in diameter, each holding up to 12.5 tonnes of materials are filled directly with Hex which can be liquid or gaseous depending on the manufacturing process.[25] The Hex then solidifies inside the cylinder on cooling to room temperature.[26] In storage and during transport the Hex material inside the cylinders is in a solid form.[27] Natural Hex is also stored in these cylinders prior to being transported to an enrichment plant.[28] Hex is routinely transported by road, rail or sea, or more commonly, by a combination of modes.[29]

Although Hex is a low specific activity material there would be a chemical hazard in the unlikely event of a release because it produces toxic by-products on reaction with moist air.[30]

Enrichment of uranium hexafluoride[31]

The valuable isotope of uranium that splits (fissions) in a nuclear reactor is U-235, but only around 0.7% of naturally occurring uranium is U-235.[32] This is increased to the level required, about 3-5% for light water reactors, either by a gaseous diffusion process or in gas centrifuges.[33] Commercial enrichment plants are in operation in the USA, Western Europe and Russia, which gives rise to international transport of Hex between conversion and enrichment plants.[34] Enriched Hex is transported in smaller universal cylinders.[35] These cylinders are some 76cm (30”) in diameter and are loaded in overpacks so that the packaging is resistant to crashes, fires, immersion and prevents chain reactions.[36] The loaded overpacks are generally transported using ISO flat rack containers for transport to fuel fabrication plants.[37] Depleted Hex, the residual product from the enrichment process, has the same physical and chemical properties as natural Hex and is transported using the same type of cylinders.[38]

Fuel fabrication[39]

Uranium dioxide powder derived from Hex of less than 5% enrichment is also a low specific activity material.[40] The enriched Hex is first converted into uranium dioxide powder which is then processed into pellets by pressing and sintering.[41] The pellets are stacked into zirconium alloy tubes that are then made up into fuel assemblies for transport from the fabrication plant to the reactor site.[42] Fuel fabrication plants are located in many countries across the world.[43] The fuel assemblies are typically about 4m (12’) long.[44] They are transported in specially designed robust steel packages.[45]

Regulations for Nuclear fuel cycle transport[46]

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Regulations for the Safe Transport of Radioactive Material set the basis for nuclear fuel cycle material transport.[47] The basic concept is that safety is vested principally in the package that has to provide shielding to protect people, property and the environment against the effects of radiation, to prevent chain reactions and also to provide protection against dispersion of the contents.[48] In addition, it is important to reduce radiation doses to workers and the public as far as reasonably achievable by adopting the best practices at the operating level.[49] The Regulations provide for five different primary packages; designated as Excepted, Industrial, Type A, Type B and Type C, and criteria are set for design based on the nature of the radioactive materials they are to contain (see WNTI Fact Sheet No. 2).[50] The Regulations prescribe additional criteria for packages containing fissile material, i.e. material that can support a nuclear chain reaction.[51] The Regulations also prescribe the appropriate test procedures.[52] This graded approach to packaging whereby the package integrity is related to the potential hazard - the more hazardous the material the tougher the package - is important for safe and efficient commercial nuclear fuel cycle transport operations.[53] Road, rail and sea are all commonly used for nuclear fuel cycle materials.[54]

IAEA tests for front end packages[55]

UOC is a benign material and the potential hazard is low.[56] Packages for UOC are required to maintain their integrity during normal transport conditions and are designed to withstand a series of tests simulating these conditions, e.g. a water spray, a free drop, a stacking test and a puncture test to reproduce the kind of treatment packages may be subjected to during normal transport.[57]

Hex is different in so far as it is a solid which can give off a toxic vapour.[58] The steel cylinders used as packages for natural and depleted Hex are internationally standardised and are subjected to a pressure test which they must withstand without leakage and unacceptable stress.[59] In addition, they have to be evaluated against a thermal test requirement.[60]

Enriched front end materials, i.e. enriched Hex, uranium dioxide powder and new fuel assemblies are fissile.[61] The potential hazard associated with these materials is an unwanted chain reaction.[62] For this reason the packages are subjected to tests to guarantee that criticality could not occur under all accident conditions which could be realistically envisaged in transport, including crashes, fires and submergence.[63]

Experience in nuclear materials transport[64]

The IAEA Regulations for the Safe Transport of Radioactive Material have provided a sound basis for the design of equipment and procedures for the safe and efficient transport of radioactive material.[65] No sector of the transport industry is more highly regulated and incidentally, no sector of the transport industry has a better safety record.[66] In over half a century there has never been a single incident which has resulted in significant radiological damage to mankind or the environment.[67] This is due in part to the strict regulatoryregime; but credit is due also to the professionalism of those entities performing packaging and transport activities.[68]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.wnti.co.uk/UserFiles/FS3_EN_AUG10_V1.pdf
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  68. ^ http://www.wnti.co.uk/UserFiles/FS6_EN_AUG10_V1.pdf

External links[edit]

Category:Nuclear organizations _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Technical Article 4

Nuclear fuel cycle Transport – Back End Materials[1]

Introduction

Today, nuclear power provides approximately 14% of global electricity making affordable, clean, carbon-free energy available to millions of people the world over.[2] The use of nuclear reactors to produce electricity has required a wide range of radioactive material transports over several decades.[3] These transports have supported all stages of the nuclear fuel cycle from uranium mining, to fuel processing and transport to reactor sites, to fuel reprocessing for recycling and spent fuel storage.[4] The transport of radioactive materials is strictly governed by an established system of international regulations and their adoption has led to an impressive record of safety.[5] In over half a century there has never been a single transport incident which has resulted in significant radiological damage to mankind or the environment.[6]

Nuclear fuel cycle transports are commonly designated as either front end or back end.[7] The front end covers all the operations from the mining of uranium to the manufacture of new fuel assemblies for loading into the reactors, i.e. the transport of uranium ore concentrates to uranium hexafluoride conversion facilities, from conversion facilities to enrichment plants, from enrichment plants to fuel fabricators and from fuel fabricators to the various nuclear power plants.[8] The back end covers all the operations concerned with the spent fuel which leaves the reactors, including the shipment of spent fuel elements from nuclear power plants to reprocessing facilities for recycling, and the subsequent transport of the products of reprocessing.[9] Alternatively, if the once-through option is chosen, the spent fuel is transported to temporary storage facilities pending its final disposal.[10]


What are back end materials?[11]

Fuel used in a nuclear power plant generates electricity for three to five years.[12] After this time it becomes less efficient and needs to be replaced.[13] This spent fuel still contains 96% of the original uranium, but also about 3% of waste products, and 1% of plutonium. At this stage, spent fuel can either be sent for storage pending final disposal, or reprocessed to recover the uranium and plutonium.[14] The residual uranium can be recycled.[15] The plutonium which is produced in the reactor is fissile, i.e. it can support a nuclear chain reaction.[16] It can be combined with uranium to produce Mixed Oxide (MOX) fuel.[17] The waste products are transformed into a solid insoluble glass form by a vitrification process and stored pending final disposal, for instance into a deep geological repository.[18]


Why are back end materials transported?[19]

Once spent fuel is removed from the nuclear reactor it can be stored temporarily at the power plant site, shipped to temporary storage off-site, or shipped to reprocessing plants.[20] Shipments to interim storage facilities are normally domestic while shipments to reprocessing sites are also international.[21] A number of countries including Japan, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, the Netherlands, France, Russia, India and the United Kingdom reprocess a portion of their spent fuel.[22] The main commercial reprocessing/recycling facilities are based in France and the United Kingdom.[23] Countries which send their spent fuel to France or the United Kingdom for reprocessing retain ownership of all the products, including any waste products, which must be returned to them.[24] After shipment to the country of origin, the waste is stored for eventual disposal.[25] Plutonium returned as MOX fuel is loaded into reactors for electricity production.[26] Shipment of back end materials on an industrial scale commenced in the early 1960s when nuclear power started to become an important source of electricity in several countries worldwide.[27] Spent fuel was the first of the back end products to be transported.[28] Later, plutonium was returned to the country of origin, initially as plutonium powder and latterly as MOX fuel.[29] The first shipment of vitrified high-level waste took place in 1995 and many shipments of this type have since taken place, by sea and by rail.[30]


How is this material transported?[31]

Stringent, comprehensive and universally recognised regulations[32]

The transport of back end material, as with all other radioactive material transport, is carefully regulated to protect people, property and the environment.[33] The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Regulations for the Safe Transport of radioactive material were first published in 1961 and have been revised regularly to keep pace with scientific and technological developments.[34] Today, the IAEA Regulations have been adopted or used as a basis for regulations in more than 60 Member States.[35] Further, the principal organisations having responsibility for transport by land, sea, air and inland water have incorporated the IAEA Regulations into their own Regulations.[36] In addition, the United Nations Model Regulations for the Transport of Dangerous Goods have always referred to the IAEA Regulations.[37] As a result, the Regulations apply to transports of radioactive material almost anywhere in the world.[38]


Back end materials are essentially solid products[39]

The solid nature of the products – spent fuel, MOX fuel, and vitrified high-level waste – is an important safety factor.[40] The materials are characterised by long term stability and low solubility in water and would stay contained in a solid form after any accident.[41] Spent fuel and MOX fuel are both made of hard ceramic pellets that are contained in zirconium alloy metal tubes (fuel rods).[42] The difference lies in the content; spent fuel contains uranium (96%), plutonium (1%) and fission products (3%) and is highly radioactive, while MOX fuel is made of uranium and plutonium oxides and has a low level of radioactivity.[43] In the case of vitrified high-level waste, the vitrification process allows the fission products to be incorporated into a molten glass which is then poured into a stainless steel canister, where it solidifies.[44] As a result, the fission products are immobilised and the highly radioactive vitrified product is protected by the stainless steel canister.[45]


Back end materials are transported in dedicated packages[46]

In accordance with the IAEA Regulations, spent fuel, MOX fuel, and vitrified high-level waste are transported in specially designed transport packagings known as flasks or casks (termed as Type B packages in the Regulations).[47] They are specially designed for the particular radioactive material they contain, they provide protection to people, property, and the environment against radiation and are designed to withstand severe accidents.[48] Type B packages range from drum-size to truck-size, but are always highly resistant and heavily shielded.[49]


Packages have to meet stringent tests[50]

The philosophy of the IAEA Regulations is that safety is ensured by the packaging no matter what mode of transport is used.[51] Under these Regulations the packaging design has to meet a series of rigorous impact, fire and immersion tests, notably:[52]

.. two drop tests – a 9 metre drop onto an unyielding surface and a 1 metre drop onto a steel punch bar; possibly repeated in worst-case drop angles.[53]

.. a subsequent fire test in which the package is subjected to a fully engulfing fire of 800°C for 30 minutes.[54]

.. immersion test where the cask is then subjected to conditions equivalent to 15 metre submersion for 8 hours.[55]

For casks designed for the more highly radioactive materials there is an enhanced immersion test of 200 metres for 1 hour.[56] These tests ensure that packages can withstand transport accidents involving crashes, fires or submergence which can be realistically envisaged and, in the case of fissile materials, ensure that no chain reaction can ever occur.[57] National competent authorities must certify the Type B package.[58] Once the packaging design has been approved, it can be used for surface transport by truck, train or ship.[59] Regulations have also been introduced for the transport of back end radioactive materials by air in packages, designated as Type C.[60] The requirements for a Type C package include additional tests to ensure that it can maintain its integrity under air accident conditions.[61] This type of package has not yet been developed.[62]


Safety demonstrations[63]

Several demonstration tests have been carried out to show the large safety margin and robustness of Type B packages.[64]

For example, engineers and scientists at Sandia National Laboratories:[65]

1. Conducted a wide range of tests in the 1970s and 1980s on Type B packages.[66] These tests included truck impact tests at 98 and 138 km/h in which truck trailers carrying packages were impacted into 3 metre thick concrete barriers, and a diesel locomotive crashed into a Type B package at 131 km/h at a simulated rail crossing.[67]

2. Similarly the UK Central Electricity Generating Board conducted a public demonstration in 1984 in which a 140 tonne train travelling at 164 km/h was driven into a Type B package.[68]

3. Post-crash assessments showed that packages suffered only superficial damage and would not have released their contents.[69] Although spectacular, these demonstration tests were not as severe as the IAEA series of tests summarised above. This shows the IAEA series of tests are conservatively representative of real world accidents.[70]


Sea transport: purpose-built vessels[71]

In the case of sea transport of back end materials, the ship design adds to the safety provided by the transport packaging.[72] In 1993, the IMO introduced the voluntary Code for the Safe Carriage of Irradiated Nuclear Fuel, Plutonium and High-Level Radioactive Wastes in Flasks on Board Ships (INF Code), complementing the IAEA Regulations. These complementary provisions mainly cover ship design, construction and equipment.[73] The INF Code was adopted in 1999 and made mandatory in January 2001.[74] It has introduced advanced safety features for ships carrying spent fuel, MOX fuel or vitrified high-level waste.[75] The basic design for ships complying with the highest safety rating of the INF Code (known as INF3) is a double hull construction around the cargo areas with impact resistant structures between hulls, and duplication and separation of all essential systems to provide high reliability and accident survivability.[76]

Over the past three decades, INF3 type ships have been used to transport back end materials between Europe and Japan.[77]


Specialised transport companies[78]

Experienced and specialised transport companies have safely and routinely transported back end materials on an industrial scale since the 1960s.[79] These companies have well developed transport systems and carefully manage back end transports around the world following required safety procedures.[80] As an example, comprehensive and effective emergency response plans are in place, incorporating emergency arrangements for all modes of transport.[81] These are routinely tested to ensure that public health and the environment are well protected in the unlikely event of an incident.[82]


The facts speak for themselves[83]

The international transport of nuclear fuel cycle materials has played an essential role in bringing the benefits of nuclear power to people the world over.[84] These transports have supported all stages of the nuclear fuel cycle including uranium mining, fuel manufacture, fuel reprocessing, spent fuel management and waste storage.[85] The transport of fuel cycle materials is strictly regulated ensuring nuclear fuel cycle transport can be carried out safely, not only under normal conditions but under all accident conditions of transport which can be realistically envisaged.[86] In over half a century there has never been a significant transport incident involving the release of radioactive material.[87]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.wnti.co.uk/UserFiles/FS4_EN_AUG10_V1.pdf
  2. ^ http://www.iaea.org/Publications/Booklets/NuclearPower/np08.pdf
  3. ^ http://www.ans.org/pi/resources/sptopics/docs/pluttrans.pdf
  4. ^ http://www.kimointernational.org/Portals/0/Files/Hazardous%20Substances/KIMO%20Paul%20Gaffney%20Nuclear%20Shipment_Low_Res.pdf
  5. ^ http://www-ns.iaea.org/tech-areas/radiation-safety/transport.asp
  6. ^ http://www.wnti.co.uk/UserFiles/FS6_EN_AUG10_V1.pdf
  7. ^ http://materkat.wordpress.com/2011/02/12/nuclear-waste-and-transportation/
  8. ^ http://areva.com/EN/operations-635/mining-uranium-production-yellowcake-exploration-mining-milling.html
  9. ^ http://www.iaea.org/newscenter/focus/fuelcycle/meckoni.pdf
  10. ^ http://www-pub.iaea.org/MTCD/publications/PDF/csp_020c/PDF/CSP-20_Part_1.pdf
  11. ^ http://www.tliusa.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=48&Itemid=54
  12. ^ http://materkat.wordpress.com/2011/02/12/nuclear-waste-and-transportation/M/
  13. ^ http://www.forgottendelights.com/essay/Nuclear%20Power.htm
  14. ^ http://www.kentchemistry.com/links/Nuclear/flash/NuclearFuelCycle.swf
  15. ^ http://www.neimagazine.com/story.asp?storyCode=2049163
  16. ^ http://www.wnti.co.uk/UserFiles/FS4_EN_AUG10_V1.pdf
  17. ^ http://spectrum.ieee.org/energy/nuclear/japan-pushes-forward-on-plutonium-imports
  18. ^ http://www.srs.gov/general/programs/solidification/index.htm
  19. ^ http://www.areva.com/EN/operations-1258/transporting-radioactive-materials-custom-solutions.html
  20. ^ http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/fact-sheets/storage-spent-fuel-fs.html
  21. ^ http://web.mit.edu/mitei/research/studies/documents/nuclear-fuel-cycle/The_Nuclear_Fuel_Cycle-4-6.pdf
  22. ^ United Kingdom reprocess a portion of their spent fuel
  23. ^ http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/nuke/RL34579.pdf
  24. ^ http://www.princeton.edu/sgs/publications/articles/FvH-BlueRibbonCommission.pdf
  25. ^ http://www.nda.gov.uk/documents/upload/An-overview-of-NDA-higher-activity-waste-February-2012.pdf
  26. ^ http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/ciencia/ciencia_uranium32.htm
  27. ^ http://www.wnti.co.uk/UserFiles/FS4_EN_AUG10_V1.pdf
  28. ^ http://www.iaea.org/Publications/Magazines/Bulletin/Bull281/28104681520.pdf
  29. ^ http://www.nda.gov.uk/documents/upload/Plutonium-Options-for-Comment-August-2008.pdf
  30. ^ http://www.nci.org/e/el12996.htm
  31. ^ http://www.tntokyo.co.jp/en/service01_02.html
  32. ^ http://www.oecd-nea.org/law/legislation/france.pdf
  33. ^ http://www.wnti.co.uk/nuclear-transport-facts-.aspx/faqs
  34. ^ http://www-pub.iaea.org/MTCD/publications/PubDetails.asp?pubId=7088
  35. ^ http://www-pub.iaea.org/MTCD/publications/PDF/Pub1109_scr.pdf
  36. ^ http://www.iaea.org/Publications/Booklets/RadPeopleEnv/pdf/chapter_15.pdf
  37. ^ http://www.unece.org/trans/danger/publi/unrec/rev13/13nature_e.html
  38. ^ http://www.experts123.com/q/how-is-the-transport-of-radioactive-materials-regulated.html
  39. ^ http://www.wnti.co.uk/nuclear-transport-facts-/what-is-transported-and-how/back-end/packages.aspx
  40. ^ http://chemistry.tutorvista.com/nuclear-chemistry/nuclear-waste.html
  41. ^ http://www.iaea.org/About/Policy/GC/GC50/GC50InfDocuments/English/gc50inf-3-att5_en.pdf
  42. ^ http://www.oecd-nea.org/ndd/reports/efc/EFC-complete.pdf
  43. ^ http://www.wise-intern.org/journal/2005/Lagus.pdf
  44. ^ http://www.neimagazine.com/story.asp?sc=2059568
  45. ^ http://www.msm.cam.ac.uk/teaching/partIII/courseM17/M17-L10.pdf
  46. ^ http://unidir.org/pdf/articles/pdf-art2961.pdf
  47. ^ http://www-pub.iaea.org/mtcd/publications/pdf/pub976e_web.pdf
  48. ^ http://www.em.doe.gov/PDFs/transPDFs/ramquestions.pdf
  49. ^ http://www.osti.gov/bridge/purl.cover.jsp?purl=/114663-U6O8Wo/webviewable/114663.pdf
  50. ^ http://nuclearsafety.gc.ca/eng/licenseesapplicants/packagingtransport/certification-process-for-transport-packages.cfm
  51. ^ http://www.iaea.org/Publications/Magazines/Bulletin/Bull205/20502541116.pdf
  52. ^ http://www.wnti.co.uk/nuclear-transport-facts-/what-is-transported-and-how/back-end/packages.aspx
  53. ^ http://www.proz.com/kudoz/french_to_english/mechanics_mech_engineering/3003026-chute_sur_poin%C3%A7on.html
  54. ^ http://www.eurosafe-forum.org/files/pe_399_24_1_seminar3_04_2005.pdf
  55. ^ http://www.nci.org/a/atactbl.htm
  56. ^ http://www.wnti.co.uk/UserFiles/File/public/publications/factsheets/wnti_fs-QuickFacts.pdf
  57. ^ http://www.hss.doe.gov/nuclearsafety/nfsp/fire/trainingdocs/rmem2.pdf
  58. ^ http://www.hse.gov.uk/cdg/manual/packaging.htm
  59. ^ http://www.em.doe.gov/PDFs/transPDFs/ramquestions.pdf
  60. ^ http://www.kimointernational.org/Portals/0/Files/Hazardous%20Substances/KIMO%20Paul%20Gaffney%20Nuclear%20Shipment_Low_Res.pdf
  61. ^ http://www.unece.org/fileadmin/DAM/trans/danger/publi/unrec/rev13/English/11E_Part5.pdf
  62. ^ http://www-pub.iaea.org/MTCD/publications/PDF/te_864_prn.pdf
  63. ^ http://www.hse.gov.uk/nuclear/transport/radioactivematerial.pdf
  64. ^ http://www.wnti.co.uk/UserFiles/FS4_EN_AUG10_V1.pdf
  65. ^ http://www.mems.sandia.gov/about/
  66. ^ http://www-pub.iaea.org/MTCD/publications/PDF/Pub1171_web.pdf
  67. ^ http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=11538&page=55
  68. ^ http://mrws.decc.gov.uk/en/mrws/cms/disposal/transport_of_r/transport_of_r.aspx
  69. ^ http://www-pub.iaea.org/mtcd/publications/pdf/te_1162_prn.pdf
  70. ^ http://www.wnti.co.uk/UserFiles/FS4_EN_AUG10_V1.pdf
  71. ^ http://www-pub.iaea.org/MTCD/publications/PDF/te_1231_prn.pdf
  72. ^ http://www.kimointernational.org/Portals/0/Files/Hazardous%20Substances/KIMO%20Paul%20Gaffney%20Nuclear%20Shipment_Low_Res.pdf
  73. ^ http://www.imo.org/blast/mainframe.asp?topic_id=69&doc_id=587
  74. ^ http://www.wnti.co.uk/UserFiles/FS6_EN_AUG10_V1.pdf
  75. ^ http://www.innuserv.com/UserFiles/File/publications/ins/Oceanic%20Pintail-Final-Feb%202012.pdf
  76. ^ http://www.wnti.co.uk/UserFiles/FS4_EN_AUG10_V1.pdf
  77. ^ http://www.areva.com/EN/operations-1391/transport-of-mox-fuel-from-europe-to-japan-the-stakes.html
  78. ^ http://www.circleexpress.co.uk/radioactive-transport
  79. ^ http://www.wnti.co.uk/UserFiles/FS4_EN_AUG10_V1.pdf
  80. ^ http://www.kimointernational.org/Portals/0/Files/Hazardous%20Substances/KIMO%20Paul%20Gaffney%20Nuclear%20Shipment_Low_Res.pdf
  81. ^ http://www-pub.iaea.org/MTCD/publications/PDF/Pub1200_web.pdf
  82. ^ http://www.wnti.co.uk/nuclear-transport-facts-/what-is-transported-and-how/back-end.aspx
  83. ^ http://www.wnti.co.uk/UserFiles/FS4_EN_AUG10_V1.pdf
  84. ^ http://www.areva.com/EN/operations-1256/tn-international-secure-packing-and-transport-of-nuclear-materials.html
  85. ^ http://www-pub.iaea.org/mtcd/publications/pdf/te_1613_web.pdf
  86. ^ http://www.ensreg.eu/nuclear-safety
  87. ^ http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/inf20.html

External links[edit]

Category:Nuclear organizations __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Technical Article 5

The INF Code and purpose-built vessels[1]


Introduction

The principal regulations for radioactive transport are the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)Regulations for the Safe Transport of Radioactive Material which were first published in 1961.[2] The Regulations have been reviewed regularly since then to keep pace with scientific and technological developments.[3] The philosophy of the Regulations is that safety is ensured primarily by the package whatever the mode of transport. The regulations cover both normal and potential accident conditions of transport to protect people, property and the environment against the effects of radiation.[4]


In 1993, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) introduced the voluntary Code for the Safe Carriage of Irradiated Nuclear Fuel, Plutonium and High-Level Radioactive Wastes on Board Ships (INF Code), complementing the IAEA Regulations.[5] This Code introduced recommendations for the design of ships transporting radioactive material and addressed such issues as stability after damage, fire protection, and structural resistance.[6] In January 2001, the INF Code was made mandatory and renamed the International Code for the Safe Carriage of Packaged Irradiated Nuclear Fuel, Plutonium and High-Level Radioactive Waste on Board Ships. The INF Code is reviewed and ammended as required by the IMO.[7]


The INF Code[8]

Every aspect of ship construction, equipment, manning and operation must comply with domestic and international regulations.[9] Domestic legislation is established from the many conventions and regulations agreed within the IMO, including the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL) and the International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code (IMDG Code).[10] These regulations apply to all types of vessels and collectively they cover just about every aspect of ship design and operation.[11] In addition, the INF Code imposes more stringent regulations for vessels carrying radioactive cargoes.[12] Consequently, an INF vessel must comply with INF, IMDG, MARPOL and SOLAS requirements.[13]


SOLAS Convention[14]

SOLAS (SOLAS 74 Revised) sets standards for the safe operation of vessels and covers sub-division, stability, machinery, electrical installation, fire safety requirements, lifesaving, radio communication, safety of navigation, and carriage of dangerous goods. There are additional requirements concerning damage stability, fire protection, temperature control of cargo spaces, structural considerations, cargo securing arrangements, electrical supplies, radiological protection equipment, and management, training and shipboard emergency plans.[15] The IMDG Code provisions also apply, which specify appropriate markings and labelling for packages and the requirements for securing the package to the vessel’s structure.[16]


Classes of INF Ship[17]


Class INF 1 ship[18]

Ships which are certified to carry materials with an aggregate radioactivity less than 4,000 TBq*


Class INF 2 ship[19]

Ships which are certified to carry irradiated nuclear fuel or high-level radioactive wastes with an aggregate radioactivity less than 2 x 10 6 TBq and ships which are certified to carry plutonium with an aggregate radioactivity less than 2 x 10 5 TBq


Class INF 3 ship[20]

Ships which are certified to carry irradiated nuclear fuel or high-level radioactive wastes, and ships which are certified to carry plutonium with no restriction on the aggregate radioactivity of the materials


MARPOL Convention[21]

MARPOL protects the marine environment from pollution by vessels and requires that a report be made to the nearest coastal state of any incident involving the loss or likely loss of any dangerous or polluting goods.[22] Any serious threat to a vessel’s safety would also have to be reported under these regulations.[23] International regulations apply exclusively to packages used for carrying radioactive materials.[24] These codes and regulations are subject to continual review.[25]


Damage stability[26]

1. To the satisfaction of the relevant government bodies.

2. Complying with part B, chapter II-1 of SOLAS 74.[27] (Part B chapter II-I contains information regarding passenger ships and cargo ships regarding subdivision and stability. These include items [but not limited to] permissible length of compartments, stability of passenger ships in damage condition, construction and initial testing of watertight bulkheads, watertight doors etc, bilge pumping arrangements, stability information and damage control.)[28]

3. Complying with part B-1, chapter II-1 of SOLAS 74. (Part B-1 contains regulations on the sub-division and damage stability of cargo ships, including [but not limited to] formulae to determine subdivision, stability information, openings in watertight bulkheads and external opening.)[29]

4. Complying with requirements for Type 1 ship survival capability and location of cargo spaces in chapter 2 of the International Code for the Construction and Equipment of Ships Carrying Dangerous Chemicals in Bulk (IBC Code) or, regardless of the length of the ship, the requirements in part B-1, chapter II-1 of SOLAS 74 with subdivision index RINF. as given below: RINF = R + 0.2(1 – R) (R is the required subdivision index).[30]


Fire protection[31]

5. To the satisfaction of the Administration.[32]

6. Accommodation spaces, service spaces, control stations and machinery spaces of category A, as defined in regulation II-2/3.19 of SOLAS 74 shall be fitted either forward or aft of the cargo spaces, due regard being paid to the overall safety of the ship.[33] (Category A space is one that contains internal combustion machinery used for main propulsion or for purposes other than main propulsion where aggregate output is not less than 350kW or a space with any oil fired boiler or fuel unit.)[34]

7. Regardless of size, the vessel shall be fitted with the following systems and equipment:[35]

.. a water fire-extinguishing system complying with regulation II-2/4 of SOLAS 74 (covering fire pumps, fire mains, hydrants and hoses);[36]

.. a fixed fire-extinguishing system in the machinery spaces of category A, as defined above, complying with the requirements of regulation II-2/7 of SOLAS 74 (covering the types of extinguishing systems for spaces containing oil fired boilers, internal combustion machinery, steam turbines or enclosed steam engine, other machinery spaces, machinery spaces of category A in passenger ships and extinguishing systems not required by this chapter);[37]

.. fixed cargo space cooling arrangements, complying with the requirement of regulation II-2/54.2.1.3 of SOLAS 74 (requires ships to have a means of effectively cooling the under-deck cargo space by copious quantities of water, either by a fixed arrangement of spray nozzles or flooding the cargo spaces with water);[38]

.. a fixed fire-detection and fire-alarm system, protecting the machinery spaces, accommodation and service spaces complying with the requirements of regulation II-2/13 of SOLAS 74 (describes the design and installation requirements for fixed fire detection and fire alarm systems).[39]


Temperature control of cargo spaces[40]

8. Adequate ventilation or refrigeration of enclosed cargo spaces shall be provided so that the average ambient temperature within such spaces does not exceed 55°C at any time.[41]

9. Ventilation or refrigeration systems serving cargo spaces intended for the transport of INF cargo shall be independent of those serving other spaces.[42]

10. Those items essential to operation, such as fans, compressors, heat exchangers and cooling water supply shall be provided in duplicate for each cargo space and spare parts shall be available to the satisfaction of the Administration.[43]


Structural considerations[44]

11. The structural strength of deck areas and support arrangements shall be sufficient to withstand the load, which is to be sustained.[45]


Cargo securing arrangements[46]

12. Adequate permanent securing devices shall be provided to prevent movement of the packages within the cargo spaces.[47] In designing permanent devices, due consideration shall be given to the orientation of the packages and the following ship acceleration levels shall be taken into account:[48]

1.5g longitudinally;[49]

1.5g transversely;[50]

1.0g vertically up;[51]

2.0g vertically down; or alternatively, where packages are carried on the open deck or a vehicle deck, they shall be secured in accordance with the principles of safe stowage and securing of heavy unitised and wheel-based (rolling) cargo approved by the Administration, based on guidelines developed by the IMO in the Code of Safe Practice for Cargo Stowage and Securing, taking into account the information given in the Guidelines for Securing Arrangements for the Transport of Road Vehicles on Ro-Ro Ships and the Provisions to be included in the Cargo Securing Manual to be carried on board ships.[52]

13. Collision chocks, where used, shall be so arranged that they will not interfere or prevent cooling air flow which is necessary under 8, 9 and 10.[53]


Electrical supplies[54]

14. To the satisfaction of the relevant government bodies.[55]

15. An alternative source of electrical power, complying with the requirements of the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), shall be provided so that damage involving the main supply would not also affect the alternative source.[56]

16. The power available from the alternative source shall be sufficient to supply the following services for at least 36 hours:[57]

.. the equipment provided for the flooding and cooling arrangements referred to above;[58]

.. all emergency services required by the Convention.[59]

17. The alternative source referred to in 15 shall be located outside the extent of any damage envisaged in 1, 2, 3 and 4.[60]


Radiological protection[61]

18. Depending upon the characteristics of the INF cargo to be carried and upon the ships, additional arrangements or equipment for radiological protection shall, if necessary, be provided to the satisfaction of the relevant government bodies.[62]


Management, training and shipboard emergency plan[63]

19. Management, training and shipboard emergency plan for a ship carrying INF cargo shall be to the satisfaction of the Administration, taking into account developments in the IMO.[64] Every ship carrying INF cargo shall carry a shipboard emergency plan.[65]


Survey and certification[66]

A ship that is certified for the carriage of INF cargoes is subject to inspections and surveys, as required in SOLAS 74, chapter 1.[67] Prior to transporting INF cargoes the ship must be internally surveyed, including a complete examination of its structure, equipment, fittings, arrangements and material.[68] On passing an initial survey, an International Certificate of Fitness for the Carriage of INF Cargo is issued.[69] This Certificate ceases to be valid if surveys have not been carried out or if the ship no longer complies with this Code when the Certificate has expired.[70]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.pntl.co.uk/pdf/INF_code_PNTL_fleet_booker.pdf
  2. ^ http://www-pub.iaea.org/MTCD/publications/PDF/Pub1384_web.pdf
  3. ^ http://www.iaea.org/ns/tutorials/regcontrol/refs/18regrevteam.pdf
  4. ^ http://www.wnti.co.uk/UserFiles/IP3_EN_AUG10_V1.pdf
  5. ^ http://www.imo.org/OurWork/Safety/Cargoes/Pages/IrradiatedNuclearFuel.aspx
  6. ^ http://www.wnti.co.uk/nuclear-transport-facts-/regulations-/sea.aspx
  7. ^ http://www.imo.org/blast/mainframe.asp?topic_id=69&doc_id=587
  8. ^ http://www.admiraltylawguide.com/conven/infcode1999.html
  9. ^ http://www.docstoc.com/docs/28952077/The-INF-Ship
  10. ^ http://www.wnti.co.uk/UserFiles/FS5_EN_AUG10_V1.pdf
  11. ^ http://www.areva.com/EN/operations-1391/transport-of-mox-fuel-from-europe-to-japan-the-stakes.html
  12. ^ http://www.imo.org/ourwork/legal/documents/6.pdf
  13. ^ http://apps.dmv.ca.gov/forms/inf/inf70.pdf
  14. ^ http://www.imo.org/about/conventions/listofconventions/pages/international-convention-for-the-safety-of-life-at-sea-(solas),-1974.aspx
  15. ^ http://www.imo.org/ourwork/safety/regulations/pages/passengerships.aspx
  16. ^ http://www.imo.org/ourwork/safety/cargoes/pages/dangerousgoods.aspx
  17. ^ http://www.docstoc.com/docs/28952077/The-INF-Ship
  18. ^ http://www.directemar.cl/images/stories/Marco_Normativo/Internacional/Resoluciones_Asamblea_OMI/A748.pdf
  19. ^ http://www.imo.org/blast/mainframe.asp?topic_id=354
  20. ^ http://www.innuserv.com/UserFiles/File/publications/ins/PNTL%20Overview.pdf
  21. ^ http://www.imo.org/about/conventions/listofconventions/pages/international-convention-for-the-prevention-of-pollution-from-ships-(marpol).aspx
  22. ^ http://www.imo.org/blast/blastDataHelper.asp?data_id=704&filename=984.PDF
  23. ^ http://www.areva.com/EN/operations-1391/transport-of-mox-fuel-from-europe-to-japan-the-stakes.html
  24. ^ http://mitnse.files.wordpress.com/2011/03/transportation_11.pdf
  25. ^ http://www.imo.org/blast/mainframe.asp?topic_id=848&doc_id=4405
  26. ^ http://www.imo.org/ourwork/safety/stabilityandsubdivision/pages/damagestability.aspx
  27. ^ http://www.ybi1.com/solas.htm
  28. ^ http://www.mss-int.com/solas2.html
  29. ^ http://www.dma.dk/SiteCollectionDocuments/Legislation/Medd%20D/2004/D-II-1B_1_-01112004.pdf
  30. ^ http://www.mss-int.com/solas2.html
  31. ^ http://www.imo.org/blast/mainframe.asp?topic_id=777
  32. ^ http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2000/3216/made?view=plain
  33. ^ http://www.iaea.org/About/Policy/GC/GC37/GC37InfDocuments/English/gc37inf-325_en.pdf
  34. ^ http://www.wnti.co.uk/UserFiles/FS5_EN_AUG10_V1.pdf
  35. ^ http://www.wnti.co.uk/UserFiles/FS5_EN_AUG10_V1.pdf
  36. ^ http://www.imo.org/blast/blastDataHelper.asp?data_id=15629&filename=55(33).pdf
  37. ^ http://www.imo.org/blast/blastDataHelper.asp?data_id=2568&filename=1007.pdf
  38. ^ http://www.iaea.org/About/Policy/GC/GC37/GC37InfDocuments/English/gc37inf-325_en.pdf
  39. ^ http://exchange.dnv.com/publishing/rulesship/2001-07/ts410.pdf
  40. ^ http://www.imo.org/blast/mainframe.asp?topic_id=354
  41. ^ http://www.admiraltylawguide.com/conven/infcode1999.html
  42. ^ http://www.imo.org/blast/blastDataHelper.asp?data_id=15456&filename=88(71).pdf
  43. ^ http://www.admiraltylawguide.com/conven/infcode1999.html
  44. ^ http://www.docstoc.com/docs/28952077/The-INF-Ship
  45. ^ http://www.wnti.co.uk/UserFiles/FS5_EN_AUG10_V1.pdf
  46. ^ http://www.iaea.org/About/Policy/GC/GC37/GC37InfDocuments/English/gc37inf-325_en.pdf
  47. ^ http://www.crs.hr/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=P2yw9RyAEXs%3D&tabid=168&mid=770&language=hr-HR
  48. ^ http://www.docstoc.com/docs/28952077/The-INF-Ship
  49. ^ http://www.ukpandi.com/fileadmin/uploads/uk-pi/LP%20Documents/Carefully_to_Carry/Containers%20in%20non%20cellular%20ships.pdf
  50. ^ http://www.iaea.org/About/Policy/GC/GC37/GC37InfDocuments/English/gc37inf-325_en.pdf
  51. ^ http://www.uscg.mil/hq/cg5/nvic/pdf/1994/n3-94.pdf
  52. ^ http://www.wnti.co.uk/UserFiles/FS5_EN_AUG10_V1.pdf
  53. ^ http://www.imo.org/blast/blastDataHelper.asp?data_id=15456&filename=88(71).pdf
  54. ^ http://www.imo.org/blast/mainframe.asp?topic_id=354
  55. ^ http://www.iom.int/jahia/webdav/site/myjahiasite/shared/shared/mainsite/policy_and_research/policy_documents/MCINF281.pdf
  56. ^ http://www.iaea.org/About/Policy/GC/GC37/GC37InfDocuments/English/gc37inf-325_en.pdf
  57. ^ http://www.imo.org/blast/blastDataHelper.asp?data_id=22175&filename=A325(IX).pdf
  58. ^ http://www.docstoc.com/docs/28952077/The-INF-Ship
  59. ^ http://www.imo.org/blast/blastDataHelper.asp?data_id=15456&filename=88(71).pdf
  60. ^ http://www.uscg.mil/hq/cg5/nvic/pdf/1994/n3-94.pdf
  61. ^ http://www.iaea.org/About/Policy/GC/GC47/GC47InfDocuments/English/gc47inf-4_en.pdf
  62. ^ http://202.114.89.60/resource/pdf/2323.pdf
  63. ^ http://www.imo.org/blast/mainframe.asp?topic_id=354
  64. ^ http://www.admiraltylawguide.com/conven/infcode1999.html
  65. ^ http://www.imo.org/publications/supplementsandcds/documents/certificatesonboardships.pdf
  66. ^ http://faolex.fao.org/cgi-bin/faolex.exe?database=faolex&search_type=query&table=result&query=LEX-FAOC073209&format_name=@ERALL&lang=eng
  67. ^ http://www.pntl.co.uk/pntl-news/PRDisplay.asp?id=69
  68. ^ http://www.comlaw.gov.au/Details/F2012C00204
  69. ^ http://www.seamanshiplibrary.com/pdf/Singapore-Recognition.pdf
  70. ^ http://www.comlaw.gov.au/Details/F2011C00053

External links[edit]

Category:Nuclear organizations

The Safe Transport of Uranium Ore Concentrates

Uranium Uranium is a naturally occurring element found virtually everywhere throughout the earth’s crust. Uranium contributes to what is termed natural background radiation. Trace amounts of uranium occur in almost everything living or otherwise. Found in rocks, soil, stream sediments, rivers and oceans; traces of uranium can also be found in food as well as in the human body. Uranium Ore Concentrate (UOC) is considered a “low level radioactive material” which means that it emits only small amounts of radiation at any given time, thereby presenting only a minor radiation hazard. UOC is not toxic, it cannot trigger a nuclear reaction, nor is it flammable.

Processed uranium ore as UOC is shipped in a powder form to fuel conversion facilities in various countries for further processing. Depending on the nature of the process used during production, the UOC can either be yellow in colour or dark green (almost black).

Uses of UOC While almost all uranium mined and processed today is used to produce electricity, small quantities are also used for other purposes. UOC is also used for glass colouring and for producing other radioactive materials used for such purposes as nuclear medicine and household smoke detectors.

Packaging and Shipping Containers The packaging used for transporting any form of radioactive material must meet international standards. UOC is generally transported in sealed steel drums with tight-fitting lids meeting UN design requirements for stowage, handling, and package integrity. The drums are loaded into general purpose freight containers securely stowed to prevent movement or load shifting during handling or transport. All shipping containers must be compliant with the International Convention for Safe Containers (CSC).

Dangerous Goods (Hazardous Materials) Classifications Under United Nations international standards, all dangerous goods and hazardous materials fall in one of the nine hazard classes. Class 7 refers to radioactive materials such as UOC. For radioactive material, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has established standards of safe transport and security which are adopted into international, modal and national regulations. These regulations are designed to protect people, property and the environment from the effects of radiation during transport.

Markings, Placards, Labels, Panels and Documentation UOC shipping containers must be placarded in accordance with the International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code.

Modes of Transport UOC is safely transported worldwide by road, rail and sea. The movements of UOC by road and rail transport are regulated by the appointed government authority of the country in or through which it is transported. Maritime transport of UOC is regulated according to the International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code. As for all dangerous goods, a multi-modal dangerous goods form must be completed for each shipping UOC drum with Class 7 labelling Typical Class 7 drum label container.

What Are the Risks? Packaged in steel drums UOC will not present a health hazard to people handling or otherwise coming into contact with it. Due to its slight chemical toxicity UOC can be harmful if inhaled or ingested. Skin contact should be avoided, and as with all powdered chemicals practicing personal hygiene habits such as washing of hands, not smoking and minimising the likelihood for exposure to dust are most important. The low but measurable levels of radiation emitted from a shipping container of UOC will not cause people or objects to become radioactive, just as receiving a dental or chest X-ray does not make a person radioactive. Reducing exposure to radiation to As Low As Reasonably Achievable (ALARA) is always the objective. A US study 1 has placed some perspective on some of the health risks people impose on themselves through everyday lifestyles.

In the normal course of events, the total time involved in handling or transporting the UOC containers, combined with the very low levels of radiation emitted by the UOC itself, severely reduces the probability of receiving any hazardous exposure from the material. Indeed, exposure from this source is well below all regulatory limits for transport workers.

There are several simple actions to be taken after the initial discovery of a leak or spill of UOC until the arrival of an emergency response team: .. mark and secure the area to prevent access by unauthorised personnel or other traffic. This will also help to prevent the spread of contamination .. immediately locate shipping documentation and call the emergency response number to ensure the emergency response system has been activated .. avoid contact with the spilt material as with any other dangerous goods .. practice good personal hygiene by washing hands and avoiding smoking or eating in the affected area .. stay upwind to avoid any wind-blown particles. It is important to cover the material to prevent dispersion by wind or rain

leave potentially contaminated items (i.e. personal protective equipment) at the scene and dispose of them in accordance with the instructions of the emergency response team or the requirements of the appropriate regulatory authority.