Transporting radioactive materials – an analysis of incidents
The Health Protection Agency (HPA) has produced a report on incidents and accidents that occurred last year during the transport of radioactive material.
Commissioned by the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR), the review will help the regulator assess the radiological impact from incidents over the course of 2011. The report includes descriptions of 38 accidents and incidents involving the transport of radioactive materials from, to, or within the UK.
Last year saw one of the highest number of incidents in the last six years – only 2008, with 39, experienced more events than last year. Of the 38 events in 2011, 11 involved irradiated nuclear fuel flasks. Only one of the events reported, involving the transport of a radiopharmaceutical source, resulted in any potentially significant radiation dose.
Nicholas Barton, who works on the ONR’s radioactive materials transport programme, said: “It is really helpful to have information about incidents in one place like this. Up to half a million packages containing radioactive materials are safely transported to, from, and within the UK every year, but it is important to take account of the small number of rare incidents that can happen.”
“Making this report publicly available is also one of the ways in which the transport programme fulfils ONR’s aim of being an open and transparent regulator.”
The incidents contained in this report will feed into a radioactive-materials transport event database, which helps ONR inspectors assess the impact over time.
‘HPA-CRCE-037 – Radiological consequences resulting from accidents and incidents involving the transport of radioactive materials in the UK – 2011 review’ can be found at
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