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Interpretation Response #18-0016

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: Tennessee Department of Environment & Conservation

Individual Name: Mr. Billy H. Freeman

Location State: TN Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

September 14, 2018

Mr. Billy H. Freeman
Deputy Director for Field Operations
Division of Radiological Health
Tennessee Department of Environment & Conservation
3711 Middlebrook Pike
Knoxville, TN 37921

Reference No. 18-0016

Dear Mr. Freeman:

This letter is in response to your February 2, 2018, email and enclosed letter requesting clarification of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180) applicable to the requirements for Class 7 (radioactive) materials prescribed in § 173.447. Specifically, you ask if § 173.447 of the HMR is applicable to FedEx's storage of damaged radioactive shipments while waiting for a licensed (Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) or Agreement State) entity to come to FedEx to repackage and ship the damaged package.

Section 173.447 prescribes rules for the temporary storage during transportation of packages and overpacks bearing FISSILE labels, and requires that packages containing radioactive materials that are transported by vessel comply with the storage requirements prescribed in 49 CFR Part 176, subpart M. Section 173.447 does not apply to Agreement State-licensed facilities, the NRC, or U.S. Government-owned or contracted facilities.

Section 173.447 of the HMR does not apply to FedEx's storage of the shipments you described because the packages and overpacks in the damaged shipments were not labeled as fissile material, and the shipments were not transported by vessel. FedEx's storage of these radioactive materials for repackaging and shipment by a licensed entity meets the definition of "storage incidental to movement" under the HMR (see 49 CFR § 171.8). Your letter states that FedEx does not have a radioactive materials license from the state of Tennessee.

You also state FedEx staff told your company that new Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) limitations imposed on radioactive materials do not permit these materials to be repacked and sent to their destinations when they are found in damaged packages. For information on the FAA's oversight of these materials, you may wish to contact Mr. Stan Satchell, Section J Manager, Office of Hazardous Materials Safety, FAA, Memphis, TN, 901-322-8160, or by email at

I hope this information is helpful. Please contact us if we can be of further assistance.


T. Glenn Foster
Chief, Regulatory Review and Reinvention Branch
Standards and Rulemaking Division

173.447, 176, 171.8

Regulation Sections

Section Subject
171.8 Definitions and abbreviations
173.447 Storage incident to transportation-general requirements