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Interpretation Response #06-0204 ([Mr. Jim Pitts])

Below is the interpretation response detail and a list of regulations sections applicable to this response.

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name:

Individual Name: Mr. Jim Pitts

Location State: KT Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

Oct 26, 2006


Mr. Jim Pitts                 Reference No. 06-0204
3755 Bethel Church Road
Kevil, Kentucky 42053

Dear Mr. Pitts:

This is in response to your September 7, 2006 letter requesting clarification of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180). You ask two questions relative to the requirements for transporting Class 7 (radioactive) material. You also include sample data describing the contents and activity of material taken from a remediation site near Tonowanda, NY. Your questions are summarized and answered as follows:

Q1.      Based on a determination made by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), radioactive material taken from the remediation site may be categorized as “alternative feed.” May the same “alternative feed” material be considered “ore” to meet the “LSA-I” definition in § 173.403?

Al.        The answer is no. The definition of “LSA-I” in § 173.403 includes uranium and thorium ores, concentrates of uranium and thorium ores, and other ores containing naturally occurring radionuclides which are intended to be processed for the use of these radionuclides. The determination by the NRC that the material is “alternative reed” material does not, in itself, mean the material is considered an ore. The term ore is not specifically defined in the HMR. However, a uranium or thorium ore that has been physically or chemically processed for use of radionuclides may no longer be considered an ore. You do not provide a sufficient history of the processing performed on the material to accurately determine if it is an ore.

Q2.      Despite the analytical data that indicates the presence of enriched and depleted uranium in the soil samples from Tonowanda, NY, if it is known that the material only contains natural uranium, is it permissible to use the RQ value for “uranium, natural,” listed in § 172.101, the exemption values for “U (nat)” listed in the table in § 173.436, and the A value for “U (nat)” in the table in § 173.435 to determine the proper classification of the material?

A2.      The answer is no. “Uranium - natural” is defined in § 173.403 as chemically separated uranium containing the naturally occurring distribution of uranium isotopes (approximately 99.28% uranium-238 and 0.72% uranium-235 by mass). The analytical data you provided indicates that the material may contain enriched or depleted uranium.
It is not appropriate to use the RQ value, exemption values, and A2 values for “Uranium
natural” to determine the proper classification of the material if analytical data suggests the material contains enriched or depleted uranium.
I hope this information is helpful. If you have further questions, please do not hesitate to contact this office.



John A. Gale
Chief, Standard Development
Office of Hazardous Materials Standards


Regulation Sections

Section Subject
173.403 Definitions