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U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Interpretation Response #10-0032 ([Energy Solutions] [Mr. James H. Portsmouth])

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: Energy Solutions

Individual Name: Mr. James H. Portsmouth

Location State: WA Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

April 2, 2010

 

 

 

 

Mr. James H. Portsmouth

Energy Solutions

2345 Stevens Drive, Suite 240

Richland, WA 99354

Ref. No. 10-0032

Dear Mr. Portsmouth:

This responds to your letter dated February 2, 2010 requesting clarification of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180) applicable to placarding requirements for Class 7 (radioactive) material. Specifically, you ask for clarification of the placarding requirements for four unique scenarios. Your scenarios and questions are summarized and answered as follows:

Scenario 1:

Four cargo containers (large freight containers with a capacity of approximately 1280 cubic feet each) used to transport LSA and SCO material on an Articulated Bulk Container (ABC) Railcar:

- Each container contains less than an A2 quantity.

- The containers are transported exclusive use.

- The shipment is excepted from the marking and labeling requirements under 49 CFR 173.427(a)(6)(vi).

- The containers are marked "RADIOACTIVE-LSA" or "RADIOACTIVE-SCO" in accordance with § 173.427(a)(6)(vi).

- Each freight container is placarded on all four opposing sides with Class 7 (radioactive) material placards before being loaded on the ABC railcar.

- The freight containers are loaded on the ABC railcar by the consignor and remain on the ABC car until they are removed by the consignee.

- There is no intermediate loading or unloading associated with the freight containers or transport vehicle.

- There are no subsidiary hazards requiring additional communication.

- The appropriate container testing certifications (e.g., AAR compliance statement) are appropriately affixed.

- A shipping paper (in this case a Uniform Low Level Radioactive Waste Manifest) is properly completed and delivered to the first rail carrier and the consignor.

Q1) Would the markings (i.e., "RADIOACTIVE-LSA" or "RADIOACTIVE-SCO") and Class 7 (radioactive) material placards on the freight containers described above satisfy the communication requirements for the shipment in accordance with § 173.427?

A1) Yes. Section 172.504 (Table 1, Footnote 1) requires placards to be applied to bulk packages and rail cars containing LSA/SCO transported as "exclusive use" in accordance with §§ 173.427(b)(4) and (5) or (c). Placards displayed on the freight container may be used to satisfy the requirement to placard the railcar provided the placards are clearly visible from the direction they face, except from the direction of another railcar to which the railcar is coupled (see § 172.516).

Scenario 2

Eight packages (containers with a capacity of approximately 96 ft3 each) used to transport LSA and SCO materials in a van trailer (i.e., a closed transport vehicle):

- Each container contains less than an A2 quantity.

- The containers are transported exclusive use.

- The shipment is excepted from the marking and labeling requirements under § 173.427(a)(6)(vi).

- The containers are marked "RADIOACTIVE-LSA" or "RADIOACTIVE-SCO" in accordance with § 173.427(a)(6)(vi).

- The van trailer (i.e., transport vehicle) is placarded on 4 opposing sides with Class 7 radioactive placards.

- The containers are loaded on the trailer by the consignor and remain on the trailer until they are removed by the consignee.

- There is no intermediate loading or unloading associated with the containers or transport vehicle.

- There are no subsidiary hazards requiring additional communication.

- A shipping paper (in this case a Uniform Low Level Radioactive Waste Manifest) is properly completed and delivered to the carrier and the consignor.

Q2) Would the markings (i.e., "RADIOACTIVE-LSA" or "RADIOACTIVE-SCO") and Class 7 (radioactive) material placards on the transport vehicle described above satisfy the communication requirements for the shipment in accordance with § 173.427?

A2) No. Section 172.504(e) (Table 1, Footnote 1) requires placards to be applied to bulk packages and transport vehicles containing LSA/SCO transported as "exclusive use" in accordance with §§ 173.427(b)(4) and (5) or (c). Thus, placards are required on the packages for such shipments. Placards must also be affixed to the transport vehicle, however, § 172.516 provides that the requirement to placard a motor vehicle may be met by the placards displayed on a freight container or portable tank loaded on a motor vehicle. For other types of bulk packages, placards must also be displayed on the motor vehicle.

Scenario 3

A shipment of various size radioactive packages meeting the requirements in § 173.24 and § 173.410 in metal boxes (e.g., B-25 box) used to transport radioactive LSA and SCO material:

- Each container contains less than an A2 quantity.

- The containers are transported exclusive use.

- The shipment is excepted from the marking and labeling requirements under § 173.427(a)(6)(vi).

- The containers are marked "RADIOACTIVE-LSA" or "RADIOACTIVE-SCO" in accordance with § 173.427(a)(6)(vi).

- The packages are shipped on an open flat bed trailer.

- The open flat bed trailer (i.e., transport vehicle) is placarded on four opposing sides with Class 7 placards.

- The trailer is loaded by the consignor and unloaded by the consignee.

Q3) Would the marking (i.e., "RADIOACTIVE-LSA" or "RADIOACTIVE-SCO") and Class 7 (radioactive) material placards on the transport vehicle described above satisfy the communication requirements for the shipment in accordance with § 173.427?

A3) No. Section 172.504 (Table 1, Footnote 1) requires placards to be applied to bulk packages and transport vehicles containing LSA/SCO transported as "exclusive use" in accordance with §§ 173.427(b)(4) and (5) or (c). Therefore, if the packages are bulk packages, they must be placarded in addition to the transport vehicle.

Scenario 4

A shipment of Class 7 (radioactive) material utilizing a radioactive materials cask that is less than 18 m3 used to transport radioactive LSA and SCO material:

- The cask contains less than an A2 quantity.

- The cask is certified to meet DOT 7A, IP-1 and IP-2 package.

- The shipment is excepted from the marking and labeling requirements under § 173.427(a)(6)(vi).

- The cask is marked "RADIOACTIVE-LSA" or "RADIOACTIVE-SCO" in accordance with § 173.427(a)(6)(vi).

- The cask is transported as an exclusive use shipment.

- The shipment is made by motor vehicle.

- The transport vehicle (i.e., cask trailer) is placarded on 4 opposing sides with Class 7 (radioactive) material placards and the front of the tractor is also placarded.

Q4) Would the markings (i.e., "RADIOACTIVE-LSA" or "RADIOACTIVE-SCO") and five placards on the transport vehicle satisfy the communications requirements for this shipment in accordance with § 173.427?

A4) Yes. Note that placards are only required to be displayed for bulk packages and transport vehicles containing LSA/SCO transported as "exclusive use" in accordance with §§ 173.427(b)(4) and (5) or (c) (see § 172.504(e)(Table 1, Footnote 1).



The package you describe in Scenario 4 is not considered to be a bulk package. Thus, placards are not required to be displayed on either the transport vehicle or the cask.

I hope this answers your inquiry. If you need further assistance, please contact this office at 202-366-8553.

Sincerely,

Charles E. Betts

Chief, Standards Development

Office of Hazardous Materials Standards

173.427, 172.503,172.51

Regulation Sections

Section Subject
172.504 General placarding requirements
173.24 General requirements for packagings and packages
173.427 Transport requirements for low specific activity (LSA) Class 7 (radioactive) material and surface contaminated objects (SCO)