© IAEA/ Dean Calma
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Transport safety

In Germany, more than half a million packages containing radioactive materials are transported every year.

Most of these packages contain smaller amounts of activity. These include radioactive preparations, instruments or radiation sources used for medical, scientific or technical applications. Only a fraction of the annual transport volume involves very large quantities of activity in the form of highly radioactive materials (e.g. spent fuel assemblies). 

As with other dangerous goods, the transport of radioactive materials is only permitted if special protection and safety principles are observed. The radiation protection and safety requirements for the transport of radioactive materials are based worldwide on the transport regulations of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). 

Our tasks

GRS carries out assessments and conducts research in the field of transport safety in connection with the transport of radioactive materials. Our focus is on:

  • Rules and regulations: We support the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety at the technical and scientific level in the evaluation and further development of the relevant rules and regulations.
  • Creating and studying scenarios: For example, our radiation protection experts look at scenarios (e.g. accident scenarios) for different modes of transport (rail, road, air, water) and related possible contamination or radiation exposure for the environment and people who happen to be in the vicinity of transports of radioactive materials or who are there for work-related reasons.
  • Concrete transport safety analyses: According to the IAEA transport regulations, compliance with the required safety standard has to be checked regularly. In the field of radiation protection, GRS performs transport safety analyses in this context. It develops corresponding methods and applies them in its capacity as authorised expert organisation.