49 CFR 173.443 - Contamination control.

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§ 173.443 Contamination control.

(a) The level of non-fixed contamination must be kept as low as reasonably achievable on the external surfaces of each package, conveyance, freight container, and overpack offered for transport, and the internal surfaces of each conveyance, freight container, and overpack in which inner packages or receptacles of Class 7 (radioactive) materials are offered for transport.

(1) Excluding the interior surfaces of the containment system of packages and the internal surfaces of a conveyance, freight container, tank, or intermediate bulk container dedicated to the transport of unpackaged radioactive material in accordance with § 173.427(c) and remaining under that specific exclusive use, the level of non-fixed contamination may not exceed the limits set forth in Table 9 and must be determined by either:

(i) Wiping an area of 300 cm 2 of the surface concerned with an absorbent material, using moderate pressure, and measuring the activity on the wiping material. Sufficient measurements must be taken in the most appropriate locations to yield a representative assessment of the non-fixed contamination levels. The amount of radioactivity measured on any single wiping material, divided by the surface area wiped and divided by the efficiency of the wipe procedure (the fraction of non-fixed contamination transferred from the surface to the absorbent material), may not exceed the limits set forth in Table 9 at any time during transport. For this purpose the actual wipe efficiency may be used, or the wipe efficiency may be assumed to be 0.10; or

(ii) Alternatively, the level of non-fixed contamination may be determined by using other methods of equal or greater efficiency.

(2) A conveyance used for non-exclusive use shipments is not required to be surveyed unless there is reason to suspect that it may exhibit contamination.

Table 9 is as follows:

Table 9 - Non-Fixed External Radioactive Contamination Limits for Packages

Contaminant Maximum permissible limits
Bq/cm 2 uCi/cm 2 dpm/cm 2
1. Beta and gamma emitters and low toxicity alpha emitters 4 10 4 240
2. All other alpha emitting radionuclides 0.4 10 5 24

(b) In the case of packages transported as exclusive use shipments by rail or public highway only, except as provided in paragraph (d) of this section, at any time during transport the non-fixed contamination on the external surface of any package, as well as on the associated accessible internal surfaces of any conveyance, overpack, or freight container, may not exceed ten times the levels prescribed in paragraph (a) of this section. The levels at the beginning of transport may not exceed the levels prescribed in paragraph (a) of this section.

(c) Except as provided in paragraphs (a) and (d) of this section, each conveyance, overpack, freight container, tank, or intermediate bulk container used for transporting Class 7 (radioactive) materials as an exclusive use shipment that utilizes the provisions of paragraph (b) of this section, § 173.427(b)(4), or § 173.427(c) must be surveyed with appropriate radiation detection instruments after each exclusive use transport. Except as provided in paragraphs (a) and (d) of this section, these items may not be returned to Class 7 (radioactive) materials exclusive use transport service, and then only for a subsequent exclusive use shipment utilizing one of the above cited provisions, unless the radiation dose rate at each accessible surface is 0.005 mSv per hour (0.5 mrem per hour) or less, and there is no significant non-fixed surface contamination as specified in paragraph (a) of this section. The requirements of this paragraph do not address return to service of items outside of the above cited provisions.

(d) Paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section do not apply to any closed transport vehicle used solely for the exclusive use transportation by highway or rail of Class 7 (radioactive) material with contamination levels that do not exceed ten times the levels prescribed in paragraph (a) of this section if -

(1) A survey of the interior surfaces of the empty vehicle shows that the radiation dose rate at any point does not exceed 0.1 mSv/h (10 mrem/h) at the surface or 0.02 mSv/h (2 mrem/h) at 1 m (3.3 feet) from the surface;

(2) Each vehicle is marked (e.g. stenciled) with the words “For Radioactive Materials Use Only” in letters at least 76 millimeters (3 inches) high in a conspicuous place on both sides of the exterior of the vehicle; and

(3) Each vehicle is kept closed except for loading or unloading; and

(4) Each vehicle is placarded in accordance with subpart F of part 172 of this subchapter.

(e) If it is evident that a package of radioactive material, or conveyance carrying unpackaged radioactive material, is leaking, or if it is suspected that the package, or conveyance carrying unpackaged material, may have leaked, access to the package or conveyance must be restricted and, as soon as possible, the extent of contamination and the resultant radiation level of the package or conveyance must be assessed. The scope of the assessment must include, as applicable, the package, the conveyance, the adjacent loading and unloading areas, and, if necessary, all other material which has been carried in the conveyance. When necessary, additional steps for the protection of persons, property, and the environment must be taken to overcome and minimize the consequences of such leakage. Packages, and conveyances carrying unpackaged material, which are leaking radioactive contents in excess of limits for normal conditions of transport may be removed to an interim location under supervision, but must not be forwarded until repaired or reconditioned and decontaminated, or as approved by the Associate Administrator.

[79 FR 40616, July 11, 2014]

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United States Code

Title 49 published on 2015-10-01

The following are ALL rules, proposed rules, and notices (chronologically) published in the Federal Register relating to 49 CFR Part 173 after this date.

  • 2016-09-07; vol. 81 # 173 - Wednesday, September 7, 2016
    1. 81 FR 61742 - Hazardous Materials: Harmonization With International Standards (RRR)
      GPO FDSys XML | Text
      DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration
      Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).
      Comments must be received by November 7, 2016.
      49 CFR Parts 107, 171, 172, 173, 175, 176, 178, and 180