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Interpretation Response #15-0036 ([U.S. Department of Energy] [Mr. Dennis Claussen])

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: U.S. Department of Energy

Individual Name: Mr. Dennis Claussen

Location State: WA Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

June 10, 2015

Mr. Dennis W. Claussen
Nuclear Safety Engineer/Traffic Manager
U.S. Department of Energy
Richland Operations Office
P.O. Box 550, MS A5-17
Richland, Washington 99352

Reference No. 15-0036

Dear Mr. Claussen:

This is in response to your February 20, 2015 email requesting clarification of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 100-185) with regard to the transportation of Class 7 radioactive materials. Specifically, you ask if Class 7 radioactive materials may be transported as "exclusive use" as defined in § 173.403 even when not required to be transported in this manner under the HMR. You indicate that the majority of your shipments are not required to be transported as "exclusive use" in accordance with § 173.441(b) as the materials do not exceed the dose rate limit in§ 173.441(a), and have both a Transport Index and Criticality Safety Index of less than 50 for the conveyance.

Effective January 1, 2016, consignments may only be offered as "exclusive use" in accordance with the definition for "exclusive use" in § 173.403. On January 8, 2015, PHMSA published a final rule under Docket Number PHMSA-2013-0260 (HM-215M) [80 FR 1075] that revised the definition of "exclusive use" to align the HMR with the UN Model regulations. The definition was revised to clarify that "exclusive use" only applies when compliance is required by the regulations, such as when the limits of § 173.441(a) or (d) are exceeded.

However, consignments of Class 7 radioactive materials not meeting the criteria for "exclusive use" as defined in § 173.403 may be permissively offered under the same transport conditions provided that the consignment is not expressly declared or identified as "exclusive use." Declaring as "exclusive use" when not required by the HMR could lead to improper emergency response or handling. Therefore, if the criteria for "exclusive use" are not met, but the offeror elects to permissively apply the same transport conditions in full or part, it must not be formally conveyed as "exclusive use" to the carrier, consignee, or any other party in the transportation chain.

I trust this information is helpful. If you have further questions, please do not hesitate to contact this office.

Duane A. Pfund
International Standards Coordinator
Standards and Rulemaking Division

173.403, 173.441(a), 173.441(b), 173.441(d)

Regulation Sections

Section Subject
173.403 Definitions
173.441 Radiation level limitations and exclusive use provisions