Packaging and Transportation

You are here

Radiological shipments are accomplished safely. Annually, about 400 million hazardous materials shipments occur in the United States by rail, air, sea, and land. Of these shipments, about three million are radiological shipments. Since Fiscal Year (FY) 2004, EM has completed over 184,000 shipments of radioactive material/waste.

In FY 2017 alone, more than 7,700 hazardous materials shipments were made safely by DOE, covering more than 2.6 million miles.   That's the equivalent of more than 100 times around the Earth.

Packaging Certification Program

FISSILE AND TYPE B PACKAGINGS

The Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended, gives DOE broad authorities to regulate all aspects of activities involving radioactive materials that are undertaken by DOE or on its behalf, including transportation. The Office of Packaging and Transportation (OPT) manages the program for the packaging certification of Type B and fissile material packaging which conform with U.S. Department of Transportation and U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission requirements. For additional information about the DOE Packaging Certification Program, visit the Radioactive Material Packaging (RAMPAC) website. The program includes the following:

  • providing guidance for preparing Safety Analysis Reports for Packaging;
  • reviewing and approving packaging designs;
  • issuing DOE Certificates of Compliance;
  • reviewing and recertifying Certificates of Compliance;
  • curtailing and suspending the use of specific packages, when warranted; and
  • reviewing and approving quality assurance programs for Type B and fissile materials radioactive materials packaging.

The Packaging Certification Program conducts routine training for radioactive packaging activities related to Safety Analysis Report for Packagings preparation and packaging quality assurance, maintenance and operations.

Supporting Programs

SAFE TRANSPORTATION OF RADIOLOGICAL SHIPMENTS

National Transportation Stakeholders Forum (NTSF) 

Collaboration and coordination with jurisdictions along the transportation corridors is key in accomplishing the EM cleanup mission. The purpose of the NTSF is to bring transparency, openness, and accountability to DOE's offsite transportation activities through collaboration with state and tribal governments.

Transportation Emergency Preparedness Program (TEPP)

TEPP provides the tools for planning, training and exercises, and technical assistance to assist state and Tribal authorities in preparing for response to a transportation incident involving DOE shipments of radioactive material.

Operations

DOE successfully completes thousands of shipments each year. The shipments have included a variety of waste types (e.g., transuranic waste, low-level waste, mixed low-level waste, used nuclear fuel ) primarily by highway and rail. Under DOE, the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) safely and securely transports nuclear weapons, weapons components, and special nuclear material to meet projected NNSA, Department of Defense, and other customer requirements.

ATLAS

Automated Transportation Logistics and Analysis System.

Motor Carrier Evaluation Program (MCEP)

OPT manages and implements the DOE MCEP in accordance with DOE Order 460.2.  MCEP maintains and monitors a list of evaluated motor carriers from which DOE/NNSA field offices and contractors select to ship their radioactive materials and hazardous wastes.

Packaging Management Council (PMC)

PMC addresses DOE challenges with selection, procurement, design, fabrication, loading, and movement of certified and approved packages containing hazardous/radioactive material.  Due to the diversity in technical and regulatory knowledge required to fully understand packaging requirements for these materials, PMC provides a forum for identification, analysis, and resolution of DOE packaging issues.

RADCALC

Permits registered users to access software used in packaging and transportation determinations.

TRANSCOM

An unclassified tracking and communication system which can monitor the progress of various "high visibility" shipments. Since September 2001, TRANSCOM has been used to monitor over 12,000 DOE high visibility shipments.

Transportation Management Council (TMC)

In accordance with DOE Order 460.2, OPT serves as federal sponsor and advisor for DOE's Transportation Management Council.  TMC membership is made up of DOE and NNSA federal and contractor personnel involved in traffic management, transportation and shipping operations, and transportation safety activities.

The Office of Packaging and Transportation protects people and the environment by ensuring safe, compliant, and efficient packaging and transportation of materials enabling successful Department operations. We achieve this by developing, managing, and advocating policies, orders, guidance and tools in accordance with DOE requirements and government regulations, and conducting packaging and transportation assessments and oversight to assist our field sites.

--Joanne Lorence, Director

Feedback

The DOE Office of Packaging and Transportation seeks to continuously improve the shipment process by obtaining feedback from all individuals involved in the process. Any comments, questions, or concerns related to DOE packaging and transportation activities should be sent to askpat@hq.doe.gov.

Packaging & Transportation News

Los Alamos Field Office Resumes Area G Waste Shipments to WIPP
October 9, 2018
The EM Los Alamos Field Office and cleanup contractor N3B safely and successfully completed the first waste shipment since January 2017.
Learn More
Former Los Alamos Contractor Earns 94 Percent of Fee in FY 2018 Period
June 19, 2018
Former Los Alamos Contractor Earns 94 Percent of Fee in FY 2018 Period
Learn More
WIPP’s Future is ‘Bright,” Officials Say at Waste Management Conference
March 28, 2018
EM and contractor officials discussed here last week the path forward for WIPP following the resumption of waste shipments to the facility.
Learn More
Moab Site Marks Milestone of Moving 9 Million Tons of Mill Tailings to Disposal Cell
February 27, 2018
EM has reached a milestone of moving 9 million tons of uranium mill tailings from the Moab Site in Utah to the dedicated disposal cell.
Learn More