IRSN publishes its report on the safety of transport of radioactive materials for civilian use in France for the years 2014 and 2015. It is based on an overall review of the significant events that occurred during this period during transport operations in France by road, railway, inland waterway, sea and air of 980 000 parcels loaded with radioactive substances.
Download the report “Safety of the Transport of Radioactive Materials for Civilian Use in France. Lessons learned by IRSN from analysis of significant events reported in 2014 and 2015" (PDF, 3,3 Mo)
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In 2014 and 2015, respectively 139 and 122 events were reported, which is about one event reported for 7,500 packages carried.
While these figures are up significantly compared to 2013 (93 reported events, or 1 in 10,000 packages carried), IRSN believes that this trend should not however be interpreted as a deterioration of the safety level of the transport of radioactive materials. Indeed, it is largely explained by better detection of events relevant to safety by the actors concerned and therefore their declaration to the authorities.
None of these events had significant radiological consequences for the workers, the population or the environment.
As part of progress made, IRSN notes a sharp decrease, in 2015, in the number of damage of packages intended for medical activities during their handling in airport areas. This decrease is linked to awareness actions conducted for airlines companies and staff involved in the handling of packages.
three themes must be the subject of particular vigilance of the actors concerned and of corrective actions:
Compliance with the requirements for the transport of gamma radiography devices, in particular those associated with the locking of the source; events related to the transport of gamma radiography devices appeared as remarkable events over the period (3 level 1 events and 1 level 2 events);
The tie-down of packages on their means of transport, given the risks of fall of the package during transport, as well as tie-down of the objects in their transport container;
The operations of filling and closing of drums containing uranium ore in order to avoid contamination of the outer surface of these drums and of their means of transport.