Transportation of radioactive substances

Transportation of radioactive substances

Radioactive substances and articles emitting radiation belong to the category of the most dangerous cargoes transportation of which is connected with heightened risk not only for the driver’s health and life, but also for the environment. Besides three types of radiation emitted by radioactive substances and radiation-exposed articles, they are often slightly flammable, explosive, and also able to cause metal corrosion that may become a reason of depressurization of containers in which they are transported.

In case of an accident such cargoes may become a reason of ground, water, air pollution, and also may cause the gravest illnesses of people situated near, that in most cases lead to decease. That’s why safety precautions when transporting radioactive substances are a full complex of procedures intended to completely avoid a possibility of radiation leakage.

First of all, all the questions connected with transportation of radioactive cargoes are solved at the state level and controlled by International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), whose specialists give consulting help in choosing routes and safety precautions. Before making a decision concerning transportation of radioactive substances, an acceptable level of radiation, which may be emitted to the environment during transportation, is defined. After that the type of package corresponding to one or another kind of radioactive cargo, on which special labeling and precautionary information is obligatory put, is chosen. Moreover, the specialists responsible for radioactive cargoes transportation must define the maximum acceptable quantity of radioactive articles and substances that can be transported in one consignment.

The demands put forth to the package of radioactive cargoes are rather stringent. Besides the fact that it must be produced of special materials able to detain alpha, beta and gamma particles, to which particularly belong concrete and lead, in case of an accident such package must not depressurize.

As for the vehicles that transport radioactive substances, they are obligatory supplied with corresponding signs informing about a character of transported cargo and about its danger for the environment in case of unplanned events.