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radiotherapy
TRANSPORT OF RADIOACTIVE MATERIAL
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Transport of radioactive material in India is governed by Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) safety code AERB/SC/TR-1 which is based on International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) regulations for the safe transport of radioactive material. The basic requirement for the transport of radioactive material is that the package containing the material shall be designed and prepared in such a way that during the whole process of transport, the radioactive material remains contained to prevent contamination and remains shielded to avoid unacceptable radiation exposure to cargo handlers and public. As the activity and nature of radioactive material to be transported varies over a wide range i.e. from few kBq (few ┬ÁCi) to few PBq (thousands of Ci), a graded approach is used in selection of the packaging. Radioactive material can be in special form i.e. indispersible or sealed encapsulated source or other than special form. Therefore, the regulations provide for different type of packages to be used depending upon the nature, physical form and activity of the radioactive material. The Types of packages used for the transport of radioactive materials are Excepted package, Industrial package, Type A package, Type B(U) and Type B(M) package.

The regulations provide for limits on the activity which can be transported in the above package in terms of A1 and A2 . A1 is the maximum activity of radioactive material which can be transported in Type A package when the material is in special form and A2 is the maximum activity of radioactive material which can be transported in Type A package when the material is not in special form. A1 and A2 values of some common radioisotopes are given in the table "A1 and A2 values of some common radioisotopes"

Excepted packages are used for the transport of very small (limited) quantities of radioactive materials such as RIA kits (permitted activity special form: 10-3 A1 and for other than special form: 10-3 A2 for solids and 10-4 for liquids).

Industrial packages are used for the transport of low specific activity material such as natural thorium or uranium ores and ore concentrates or other radioactive material which is essentially uniformly distributed in small quantities in large mass of non-radioactive medium.

Type A packages are used for the transport of moderate activity of radioactive material such as nucleonic gauge sources, some brachytherapy sources used in hospitals, nuclear medicine sources used for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes (Permitted activity A1 in special form and A2 in other than special form).

Type B(U)/B(M) Packages are used for the transport of large activity of radioactive material as per the approval of the competent authority i.e. AERB such as teletherapy sources, gamma irradiators sources, industrial radiography sources and some brachytherapy sources.

Type A package need to be registered with AERB. The prescribed application form, for this purpose, is given in "Application form for registration of Type A package". This application form needs to be submitted to AERB along with the reports on the tests conducted on the package as per the regulations.

Type B(U)/B(M) package need to be approved by AERB. The prescribed application form, for this purpose is given in "Application form for approval of Type B package". This application form needs to be submitted along with the reports on the tests conducted on the package as per the regulations.

The prime responsibility for ensuring compliance with the regulations lies with the consignor. The consignor needs to ensure that the appropriate packaging is selected for the transport of radioactive material and the package is prepared, marked and labelled as per the regulations. Guidelines for the preparation of the package are given in "Procedures for preparation of packages".

Once the package is prepared as per the prescribed procedures, it can be transported by any mode of transport i.e. by road, rail, sea or air. Transport documents should include (1) declaration by the consignor, (2) instructions to the carrier, (3) a Transport Emergency Card (TREMCARD) and Instructions in writing to the carrier for emergency measures. Format of each is given in "Consignor's declaration", "Instructions to the carrier", "TREMCARD for in-dispersible radioactive materials" and "TREMCARD for dispersible radioactive materials", and "Instructions in writing for emergency measures". Transport Emergency Card (TREMCARD) includes the information on the primary steps to be taken in case of emergency and the emergency contact numbers. In case of any incident reported on the way, it shall be promptly reported by the consignor to AERB.

For ensuring compliance with all the requirements of the regulations, the consignor may verify with the checklist provided in the format "Check list for packaging and transport"

For obtaining permission for export or transport of disused sources to the supplier or Waste Management agency, the information should be provided in the prescribed format "Permission for transport of disused sources" or "Permission for export of disused sources".

For obtaining port clearance for consignments transported by sea, application should be made in the prescribed format "Port clearance form".

List of Transport related forms

  1. A1 and A2 values of some common radioisotopes

  2. Application form for registration of Type A package

  3. Application Form for Design Approval of a Type B(U)/(M) Package

  4. Format of Safety Analysis Report (SAR) of a Type B(U)/(M) Package

  5. Procedures for preparation of packages

  6. Consignor's declaration

  7. Instructions to the carrier

  8. TREMCARD for dispersible radioactive materials

  9. TREMCARD for in-dispersible radioactive materials

  10. Instructions in writing for emergency measures

  11. UN number and Proper Shipping names

  12. Check list for packaging and transport

  13. Permission for transport of disused sources

  14. Permission for export of disused sources

  15. Port clearance form

For any information on above forms please contact Head, RSD, AERB