Transport of radioactive material
Transporte de material radiactivo
The various applications of radioactive material in the medical, industrial and nuclear fields require its transport from the suppliers to the user facilities and, later, the transport of the radioactive waste generated by them to the treatment centres.
The transport of nuclear and radioactive materials accounts for some 2% of international hazardous goods transport. Most of these contain small amounts of radioactive materials used for medical diagnosis, in certain industrial activities and for research. Other dispatches are of high activity radioactive sources, mostly used for treating cancer.
These transports are mainly made by air, primarily the ones of radioactive materials used in medical applications which, because of its nature, undergo a fast radioactive decay and must therefore be sent urgently. These materials are then carried in small packages by road to their final destinations in hospitals or diagnosis centres.
Sea transport is used to carry large amounts of materials over long distances, normally associated with the nuclear fuel cycle (minerals, concentrates, uranium hexafluoride, nuclear fuel, etc.).
A rigorous and agreed national and international regulatory and control structure is followed to ensure the beneficial uses of radioactive materials with an appropriate level of protection and safety for the people, the property and the environment. The functions of the Spanish Nuclear Safety Council also include the submission of safety reports to the Ministry of Industry for the approval of transport packages and for the authorization of dispatches as well as the control and inspection of the nuclear safety and radiological protection aspects of all activities relating to the transport of radioactive materials.
For further information on the transport of nuclear materials, please visit the section Nuclear safety > Transport of nuclear materials.