United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

Bulletin 74-005: Shipment of an Improperly Shielded Source



BL74005 

                SHIPMENT OF AN IMPROPERLY SHIELDED SOURCE  

                                                       April 12, 1974  
                                                       DRO Bulletin No. 74-5 

A.   Description of Circumstances 

     A recent air shipment of a radiographic sealed source containing 32 
     curies of iridium 192 was received by the consignee with the sealed 
     source in an essentially unshielded condition. The shipment was made 
     in a Gamma Industries Model C-10 shipping container. Preliminary 
     investigation results indicate that the manufacturer's instructions 
     were not followed and the package was improperly loaded by the shipper. 
     As a result, some passengers and transportation cargo handlers received 
     unnecessary radiation exposure. Copies of the public announcements 
     issued by AEC on April 9 and 10, 1974, summarizing the preliminary 
     information are enclosed. The extent and significance of the radiation 
     exposures and the details concerning the loading of the package are 
     being investigated at this time. 
     
     This occurrence dramatically illustrates the need for all radiography 
     licensees to assure that all shipments of radiographic sources are 
     properly packaged and confirmed to meet DOT regulations prior to 
     shipment, as required by your licensee. The procedures developed by you
     in accordance with the below action items will be examined during 
     subsequent inspections of your licensed activities. 

B.   Action To Be Taken 

     In view of the above, you will take all necessary steps to assure that 
     all subsequent shipments of radiographic sources are made safely. As a 
     minimum, these steps should provide assurance that: 

     1.   Only shipping containers authorized by your license are used. 

     2.   The step-by-step instructions issued by the manufacturer of the 
          container are followed in detail and in the sequence presented. 

     3.   The source is securely locked in the fully shielded position as 
          confirmed by carefully performed and recorded radiation surveys. 

     4.   No package with radiation levels in excess of 200 milliroentgens 
          per hour at the package surface, or 10 milliroentgens per hour at 
          three feet, should be released for shipment, as specified in DOT 
          regulations. 

     5.   Package labeling and accompanying shipping papers should be 
          properly completed. 

Attachments: 
1. AEC Press Release No. T-161 
2. AEC Press Release No. T-162  

                                                            Attachment K 
Page Last Reviewed/Updated Tuesday, July 23, 2013