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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 then passed to the UN Sub-Committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods 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 regional or national regulatory authorities.

The IAEA regulations establish safety standards which provide an acceptable level of control of radiation, criticality and thermal hazards to persons, property, and the environment. 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 based on its activity concentration, total activity, fissile characteristics (if any) and other relevant subsidiary characteristics. Packaging and package requirements are specified based on hazard 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:

U.S. DOT
PHMSA, Office of Sciences and Engineering
Attn: Radioactive Materials
East Building, 2nd Floor
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590
(202) 366-4545

IAEA Document List

SSR-6, Rev 1: Regulations for the Safe Transport of Radioactive Material, 2018 Edition

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)

Last updated: Thursday, April 1, 2021