The Carriage of dangerous goods and marine pollutants in sea-going ships is respectively regulated in the International Convention for the Safety of the Life at Sea (SOLAS) and the International Convention for the Prevention of pollution from Ships (MARPOL).
Relevant parts of both SOLAS and MARPOL have been worked out in great detail and are included in the International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code, thus making this Code the legal instrument for maritime transport of dangerous goods and marine pollutants. As of 1st January 2004, the IMDG Code will become a mandatory requirement.
Classification of dangerous goods
For all modes of transport (sea, air, rail, road and inland waterways) the classification (grouping) of dangerous goods, by type of risk involved, has been drawn up by the UNITED NATIONS Committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods (UN).
Class 7 Radioactive Substances
Known to be toxic to humans so as to afford a hazard to health during transportation or is presumed to be toxic to humans because it falls within a toxic category when tested on laboratory animals.
Any quantity of packages bearing the RADIOACTIVE YELLOW III label (LSA-III). Some radioactive materials in "exclusive use" with low specific activity radioactive materials will not bear the label, however, the RADIOACTIVE placard is required.
Closed transport vehicle means a transport vehicle or conveyance equipped with a securely attached exterior enclosure that during normal transportation restricts the access of unauthorized persons to the cargo space containing the Class 7 (radioactive) materials. The enclosure may be either temporary or permanent, and in the case of packaged materials may be of the "see-through" type, and must limit access from top, sides, and bottom.
Containment system means the assembly of components of the packaging intended to retain the radioactive contents during transportation.
1. For transport by public highway or rail: any transport vehicle or large freight container;
2. For transport by water: any vessel, or any hold, compartment, or defined deck area of a vessel including any transport vehicle on board the vessel; and
3. For transport by aircraft, any aircraft.
Design means the description of a special form Class 7 (radioactive) material, a package, packaging, or LSA-III, that enables those items to be fully identified. The description may include specifications, engineering drawings, reports showing compliance with regulatory requirements, and other relevant documentation.
Exclusive use (also referred to in other regulations as "sole use" or "full load") means sole use by a single consignor of a conveyance for which all initial, intermediate, and final loading and unloading are carried out in accordance with the direction of the consignor or consignee. The consignor and the carrier must ensure that any loading or unloading is performed by personnel having radiological training and resources appropriate for safe handling of the consignment. The consignor must issue specific instructions in writing, for maintenance of exclusive use shipment controls, and include them with the shipping paper information provided to the carrier by the consignor.
Fissile material means plutonium-238, plutonium-239, plutonium-241, uranium-233, uranium-235, or any combination of these radionuclides. The definition does not apply to unirradiated natural uranium and depleted uranium, and natural uranium or depleted uranium that has been irradiated in a thermal reactor. Certain additional exceptions are provided in 49CFR 173.453.
Fissile material, controlled shipment means any shipment that contains one or more packages that have been assigned, in accordance with 49CFR 173.457, nuclear criticality control transport indices greater than 10.
Freight container means a reusable container having a volume of 1.81 cubic meters (64 cubic feet) or more, designed and constructed to permit its being lifted with its contents intact and intended primarily for containment of packages in unit form during transportation. A "small freight container" is one which has either one outer dimension less than 1.5 meters (4.9 feet) or an internal volume of not more than 3.0 cubic meters (106 cubic feet). All other freight containers are designated as "large freight containers."
Highway route controlled quantity means a quantity within a single package which exceeds:
1. 3,000 times the A1 value of the radionuclides as specified in 49CFR 173.435 for special form Class 7 (radioactive) material;
2. 3,000 times the A2 value of the radionuclides as specified in 49CFR 173.435 for normal form Class 7 (radioactive) material; or
3. 1,000 TBq (27,000 Ci), whichever is least.
Limited quantity of Class 7 (radioactive) material means a quantity of Class 7 (radioactive) material not exceeding the materials package limits specified in 49CFR 173.425 and conforming with requirements specified in 49CFR 173.421.
Low Specific Activity (LSA) material means Class 7 (radioactive) material with limited specific activity which satisfies the descriptions and limits set forth below. Shielding materials surrounding the LSA material may not be considered in determining the estimated average specific activity of the package contents.