Radioactive
Class 7 IAEA Regulatory Update – SSR-6 Rev. 1, June 2018

Radioactive material warning sign at the package

Regulations for the Safe Transport of Radioactive Material

– Specific Safety Requirements No. SSR-6 (Rev. 1)

As expected, the IAEA has published the 2018 amendment to SSR-6 as Revision 1 (SSR-6).

This Revision removes the term “radiation level” from Section 2 “Definitions,” replacing it by “dose rate” to designate the dose equivalent per unit time (e.g. mSv/h). The associated changes to sections referencing the term throughout the document account for many of the other paragraph (para.) changes.

Also deleted from this edition are the requirements for testing LSA-III material for residual water activity below 0.1 A2 in the 7-day leachate test.

Table 2 “Basic Radionuclide Values” has been updated to include entries for:
Ba-135m, Ge-69, Ir-193m, Ni-57, Sr-83, Tb-149 and Tb-161.

Enter SCO-III

Perhaps the most significant change is the expansion of surface contaminated objects (SCO – “a solid object that is not itself radioactive but which has radioactive material distributed on its surface”) to add SCO-III provisions in the regulation. The Table 1 list of UN numbers, proper shipping names and descriptions now includes SCO-III to SCO-I and SCO-II for UN2913.

In addition to meeting the general requirements for the SCO designation, SCO-III objects are defined in para. 413(c) as a large solid object that is too large to be transported in the type of package described in SSR-6. There are other criteria to be met regarding sealing of openings, insides being as dry as practicable, and limits on contamination levels on external and inaccessible surfaces.

The SCO-III objects may thus be transported unpackaged (as is permitted for LSA-I and SCO-I) under “exclusive use” restrictions and other conditions in para. 520(e) et seq. Approvals may be required in some circumstances as indicated in Section VIII of SSR-6.

Shipping Changes

    Additional changes include:
  • verification of condition of stored packages before shipment, para.503(e)
  • use of summation of package transport indices (TI) to determine TI for overpacks, para. 524, 524A
  • removal/covering of any package certification marks that don’t relate to the UN number/shipping name of the contents, para.536A

Adoption of Rev. 1

The various Model, national and modal regulations have yet to reference SSR-6 (Rev.1).

The UN Recommendations have prepared an amendment in anticipation of the publication:
https://www.unece.org/fileadmin/DAM/trans/doc/2018/dgac10c3/ST-SG-AC.10-C.3-2018-54e.pdf

Although Canada’s Packaging and Transport of Nuclear Substance Regulations (PTNSR) reference the IAEA regulations “as amended,” §1.2 qualifies the incorporation of an amendment as taking place the later of:

  • 2 years following the IAEA publication date, or
  • 6 months following its availability in both English and French.

The effective date (§1.3) must also be published on the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission’s website.
Transport Canada’s TDG Regulation defers to the PTNSR for most purposes.

The 2018 SSR-6 (Rev.1) English document is available at:
https://www-pub.iaea.org/books/IAEABooks/12288/Regulations-for-the-Safe-Transport-of-Radioactive-Material-2018-Edition

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