Interpretation Response #05-0047
Below is the interpretation response detail and a list of regulations sections applicable to this response.
Interpretation Response Details
Feb 3, 2006
Mr. Clinton M. Giannetti Reference No. 05-0047
Venture Lighting International, Inc.
32000 Aurora Road
Solon, Ohio 44139
Dear Mr. Giannetti:
This responds to your March 4, 2005 letter requesting clarification on empty cylinders which previously contained radioactive material under the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180). Specifically, you ask if the requirements for empty packages contained in § 173.29 or 173.428 apply. In addition, you ask if the internal contamination levels as specified in § 173.443 apply to your purged empty cylinders containing a noble gas or similar material that is not likely to leave contamination.
According to your letter, your company uses Type A packages (cylinders) containing an argon gas mixed with a small fraction of Krypton-85. Full cylinders are classified as a Class 7 material with a subsidiary Division 2.2 hazard under UN 2915. After the gas is removed from these cylinders, the spent cylinders are purged/flushed with nitrogen gas multiple times, and the internal pressure is relieved. The cylinders contain a pressure less than 15 psi at 20° C, and no radioactivity above background levels can be detected at the cylinder surface. You also state that the hazardous material previously contained in the cylinder no longer meets the definition of a Class 7 material in § 173.403 since it does not exceed the activity concentration limits in § 173.436. In addition, the hazardous material previously contained in the purged cylinders does not meet the definition for a Division 2.2 material as specified in §173.115(b).
Based on the information provided, the spent cylinders are not subject to the HMR if the activity limits specified in the § 173.436 are not exceeded, or the internal and external contamination limits do not exceed those specified in § 173.403.
I hope this answers your inquiry.
John A. Gale
Chief, Standards Development
Office of Hazardous Materials Standards
|Empty Class 7 (radioactive) materials packaging