IRSN, Institut de radioprotection et de sûreté nucléaire

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Transport of radioactive materials : IRSN draws lessons from events reported between 1999 and 2011

In its role of technical support of the authorities for safety and protection against radiations, IRSN has a mission of assessment that covers the design, the manufacturing, the testing and the use of packaging and transport system. It also takes part in the emergency response in the event of anomalies, incidents or accidents (known in a generic way as “events”). To assist with this work, IRSN manages a database that lists all events reported for transport.

IRSN publishes a new report about transport events involving radioactive materials that occurred in France from 1999 to 2011. For each of the 1 304 events recorded, many parameters have been collected and analysed from information listed in the declarations and reports of events sent by users (type of event, purpose, package design, INES level, etc.).

The number of events declared in 2010 and 2011 is slightly higher than the average of 100 events per year. The two main reasons for declaration concern errors in transport documentation or labelling and handling mishaps. The new data confirm the downward trend in frequency of package and vehicle contaminations. A short description of outstanding events in 2010 and 2011 is included. This assessment also gives an outline of the actions recommended by IRSN to avoid recurrence of declared events and improve the safety of radioactive material transport.

Download IRSN report 2013-003E « Assessment of events involving transport of radioactive materials in France, 1999-2011 » (pdf)

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