London, 7 July 2006
Review of Events Involving the Transport of Radioactive Materials in the UK, from 1958 to 2004, and their Radiological Consequences
Full text (PDF, 166 KB, 46 pages)
By J S Hughes, D Roberts and S J Watson
Approval date: May 2006
Publication date: July 2006
Radioactive materials are widely used in hospitals, industry and research. It is necessary for these materials to be transported from suppliers to customers, and for some radioactive wastes to be returned from customers to suppliers or to waste facilities. All these materials are normally transported by road. Radioactive materials associated with the nuclear industry are mainly moved by rail. Also, exports and imports of radioactive materials are made by sea and air. During these shipments events, or accidents and incidents, can occur. Records of these events are collated and held on the Radioactive Material Transport Event Database (RAMTED). The database contains information on over 800 events that occurred during the period 1958 to 2004. In this study these events were reviewed to examine trends and radiological consequences. The most serious radiological consequences occurred as a result of transporting improperly packaged industrial radiography sources. However, these events are historical, as there has not been such an occurrence for two decades. The analysis of the information in the database provides an overview of the types of events that have featured throughout the period covered.