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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 #18-0088

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: Settoon Towing

Individual Name: Nicholas Kohnke

Location State: LA Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

February 15, 2019

Nicholas Kohnke
Special Projects Associate
Settoon Towing
1073 Highway 70
P.O. Box 279
Pierre Part, LA  70339

Reference No. 18-0088

Dear Mr. Kohnke:

This letter is in response to your June 12, 2018, email requesting clarification of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180) applicable to the transportation of radionuclides.

We have paraphrased and answered your questions as follows:

Q1. You ask if a person who offers a consignment containing radionuclides to a carrier for transportation without knowing if it meets the definition of a Class 7 radioactive material would be subject to the HMR.
 
A1. In accordance with § 173.22, it is the shipper’s responsibility to classify a hazardous material for transportation.  If a consignment meets the definition of a hazardous material, the shipment—and any person performing a pre-transportation function—is subject to the requirements of the HMR.
 
Q2. You ask if a consignment that contains radionuclides where both the activity concentration and the total activity in the consignment do not exceed the values specified in the § 173.436 table or values derived according to the instructions in § 173.433 would meet the definition of a Class 7 radioactive material.
 
A2. The answer is no.  See the definition of a radioactive material in § 173.403.  Furthermore, 49 CFR Part 173, Subpart I applies only to those materials meeting the definition of a Class 7 radioactive material.

Q3. You ask if a consignment that does not meet the definition of a Class 7 radioactive material is subject to the requirements in 49 CFR Part 173, Subpart I.

A3. The answer is no.  See A2.

Q4. You ask if the definitions of bulk packaging, packaging, and package in § 171.8 apply only to radioactive materials that meet the 49 CFR Part 173, Subpart I definition of a radioactive material.
 
A4. The answer is yes.  The definitions of bulk packaging, packaging, and package in § 171.8 apply only to hazardous materials.  Radioactive materials are defined in 49 CFR Part 173, Subpart I (see A2).  Therefore, if the material does not meet the definition of a radioactive material or any other hazardous material, the definitions referenced in your question do not apply.  Additionally, the bulk carriage of hazardous materials by water is governed by 46 CFR Chapter I, Subchapters D, I, N, and O (see 49 CFR 176.5(d)).

Q4. You ask if the activity concentration for radium 226 or radium 228 as an exempt material is 10,000 Bq/L (2.7 x 10-7 Ci/L) in water. 

A4. The answer is yes.  The § 173.436 table of exempt material activity concentrations for both the radionuclides radium 226 and 228 is 1.0 x 101 Bq/g (2.7 x 10-10 Ci/g).  The conversion to Bq/L (Ci/L) is correct, as one liter is equal to 1,000 grams.

Q5. You ask if the exempt material activity concentrations found in § 173.436 apply only to packaged materials.

A5. The answer is no.  The exempt material activity concentration values in § 173.436 apply to all shipments of radionuclides offered for transportation under the HMR.  Furthermore, the bulk carriage of hazardous materials by water is governed by 46 CFR Chapter I, Subchapters D, I, N, and O (see 49 CFR 176.5(d)).

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

Sincerely,

Dirk Der Kinderen
Chief, Standards Development
Standards and Rulemaking Division

173.22, 173.436, 173.433, 173.403, 171.8, 173, 176.5(d)

Regulation Sections

Section Subject
171.8 Definitions and abbreviations
173 SHIPPERS-GENERAL REQUIREMENTS FOR SHIPMENTS AND PACKAGINGS
173.22 Shipper's responsibility
173.403 Definitions
173.433 Requirements for determining basic radionuclide values, and for the listing of radionuclides on shipping papers and labels