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International Atomic Energy Agency

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) first published its regulations for the safe transport of radioactive material in 1961.  These regulations are reviewed and updated regularly, and are then passed on the United Nations for incorporation into the UN Model Regulations.  They form the basis of international modal regulations established by other United Nations bodies, such as the International Maritime Organization and the International Civil Aviation Organization.  The IAEA requirements are in turn adopted by national regulatory authorities.

The IAEA regulations establish standards of safety which provide an acceptable level of control of radiation; criticality and thermal hazards to persons; and; property and the environment that are associated with the transport of radioactive material.  These regulations address all categories of radioactive material ranging from very low activity, including such materials as ores, to very high activity, such as spent fuel.  The material to be transported must be categorized on the basis of its activity concentration, total activity, fissile characteristics (if any) and other relevant subsidiary characteristics.  Packaging and package requirements are specified on the basis of the hazard of the contents and range from normal commercial packaging (for low hazard contents) to strict design and performance requirements (for higher hazard contents).  Specific requirements are also established for marking, labeling, placarding of conveyances, documentation, external radiation limits, operational controls, quality assurance and notification and approval of certain shipments and package types.

For more information on the IAEA transport safety program, please visit the IAEA website.

For more information about the PHMSA Office of Hazardous Materials Safety's radioactive materials program contact:

Office of Engineering and Research
Attn: PHH-21, Sciences
East Building, 2nd Floor
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590
(202) 366-4545

IAEA Document List

SSR-6: Regulations for the Safe Transport of Radioactive Material, 2012 Edition (SSR-6)

SSG-26: Advisory Material for the IAEA Regulations for the Safe Transport of Radioactive Material, 2012 Edition (SSG-26)

TS-G-1.2: Planning and Preparing for Emergency Response to Transport Accidents Involving Radioactive Material, 2002 (TS-G-1.2)

TS-G-1.3: Radiation Protection Programmes for the Transport of Radioactive Material (TS-G-1.3)

TS-G-1.4: The Management System for the Safe Transport of Radioactive Material (TS-G-1.4)

TS-G-1.5: Compliance Assurance for the Safe Transport of Radioactive of Radioactive Materials (TS-G-1.5)

TS-R-1: Regulations for the Safe Transport of Radioactive Materials, 2009 (TS-R-1)

Last updated: Friday, September 1, 2017