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Interpretation Response #20-0037

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: Y-12 National Security Complex

Individual Name: DJ Allen

Location State: TN Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

August 27, 2020

DJ Allen
Y-12 National Security Complex
P.O. Box 2009
765 Perimeter Road, K-1065D
Oak Ridge, TN 37831

Reference No. 20-0037

Dear Mr. Allen:

This letter is in response to your April 21 and July 22, 2020, emails requesting clarification of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180) applicable to the shipment of radioactive materials.

We have paraphrased and answered your questions as follows:

Q1. You ask whether radioactive materials excepted under § 173.453 are regulated in accordance with § 173.419.

A1. Section 173.419 outlines the requirements for authorized packages for oxidizing Class 7 (radioactive) materials. The term "not fissile" in § 173.419(a)(1) does not include fissile material that meets the exceptions of § 173.453. Therefore, fissile material excepted by § 173.453 would not be allowed to be transported in accordance with § 173.419.

Q2. You state that you are shipping fissile excepted Uranyl Nitrate Hexahydrate in solid form, with a 5.1 oxidizer subsidiary hazard. You indicate that your intention is to describe the material as "UN2915, Radioactive material, Type A package non-special form, non fissile or fissile-excepted, 7." You note that this proper shipping description specifies § 173.419 for non-bulk packages. You ask whether applying § 173.419 is acceptable when shipping non-bulk quantities of "UN2915, Radioactive material, Type A package non-special form, non fissile or fissile-excepted, 7."

A2. The answer is yes. Section 173.419 does not directly apply to "UN2915, Radioactive material, Type A package non-special form, non fissile or fissile-excepted, 7." Section 173.419 applies to an oxidizing Class 7 material, "as referenced in the 172.101 table of this subchapter." There is currently no proper shipping name in the Hazardous Materials Table (HMT) for a Class 7, subsidiary 5.1 material. Moreover, §173.419 states that material must be non-fissile, and the material that you described is fissile-excepted. A suitable Type A package could be used in the transportation of the material described in your letter provided that the subsidiary hazard is properly accounted for in the design. However, provided you have an oxidizing Class 7 (radioactive) material, it could be shipped consistent with the packaging requirements specified in § 173.419.

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

172.101, 173.419, 173.419(a)(1), 173.453

Regulation Sections

Section Subject
172.101 Purpose and use of hazardous materials table
173.419 Authorized packages-oxidizing Class 7 (radioactive) materials
173.453 Fissile materials-exceptions