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Radioactive Materials

About the Radioactive Materials Branch

The RAM program area is a component of the Sciences Branch and provides scientific and radiological safety research, review, and analysis functions to develop regulatory documents on the packaging, hazard analysis, classification, and transportation of radioactive materials.


The staff of the Sciences Branch who are devoted to the RAM program area perform a number of tasks including advising on scientific and radiological issues affecting Administration policies and programs.  The staff performs scientific, and radiological safety knowledge, research review and analysis functions involved in developing regulatory documents on the packaging, hazard analysis, classification and transportation of radioactive materials.  It also acts as the national competent authority and issues National Competent Authority Certificates for the international movement of radioactive materials; and provides technical expertise for the development of U.S. positions for international radioactive materials standards.  The Sciences Branch radioactive team provides guidance and technical expertise on hazards analysis, classification, and packaging of radioactive materials to the interested public, operating administrations, other Government agencies and foreign interests.

Products & Services

  • Perform technical evaluations of Special Permit and Competent Authority applications
  • Provide technical reasoning on requests for letters of interpretation regarding regulations affecting radioactive materials
  • Respond to questions from the regulated community on the hazardous materials regulations pertaining to radioactive materials
  • Draft proposed changes to the hazardous materials regulations and provide technical responses to comments on draft rulemakings pertaining to radioactive materials
  • Prepare drafts of radioactive materials training manuals
  • Provide technical comments on reports and proposed regulations from other Federal agencies
  • Coordinate with other agencies and organizations on radioactive material technical issues and regulations
  • Review and Approve package design approvals and material certifications
    • Packaging for large amounts of radioactive material and/or fissile material (Type B and Type AF packages)
    • Encapsulated materials (special form material)
  • Serve as the U.S. Member of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Transport Safety Standards Committee (TRANSSC)