Transportation of radioactive materials
The transport of radioactive material in South Australia is controlled by section 21 of the Radiation Protection and Control Act 2021 and Radiation Protection and Control Regulations 2022, as well as the Code for the Safe Transport of Radioactive Material (2019) published by ARPANSA (Transport Code).
Transport comprises all operations and conditions associated with, and involved in, the movement of radioactive material; these include the design, manufacture, maintenance and repair of packaging, and the preparation, consigning, loading, carriage including in-transit storage, shipment after storage, unloading and receipt at the final destination of loads of radioactive material and packages.
A radiation management licence authorising the transport of radioactive material is required when transporting material by road, rail or waterways within South Australia. Transport of radioactive material by air or sea is regulated by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority and Australian Maritime Safety Authority respectively.
The prime responsibility for safety regarding transport of radioactive material rest with the person or organisation responsible for the facilities and/ or activities undertaken, that give rise to radiation risks. Each party involved in the radioactive material transportation chain of command, is responsible to ensure safety protocols have been addressed and adhered to as outlined in the relevant legislation.
Carrier (defined in the Act and Transport Code) must ensure that during the course of transport of radioactive material in a freight container or on a vehicle, each package is stowed in such a manner that the package remains in position at all times; despite movements involving starting, stopping, jolting or swaying, to which the vehicle is subject to. The package must be kept away from heavy articles or goods likely to damage the package in usual course of transport and that the package must not project beyond periphery of the vehicle.
Consignor (defined in Transport Code) is required to provide a consignor’s declaration, other transport documentation and must ensure the material/ source is appropriately packaged for transport. Consignors who are consigning a security enhanced source have additional responsibilities as detailed in the Security code.
Driver of the vehicle must follow legislative requirements and any internal procedure regarding transport of radioactive material. Driver must report on package details, accidental circumstances, interference, or potential leakage to all relevant personnel if the package is lost, wrongfully interfered with (contents, labeling/ marking or documentation), damaged or the radioactive material has leaked from the package. Driver of the vehicle must obey directions given by the Minister and prevent access to the package by anyone other than a person authorised to do so by the consignor, carrier or the Minister.
The holder of a radiation management licence to transport radioactive material is accountable for provision of appropriate training to all personnel engaged by that business and for the submission of a detailed radiation management plan (RMP).