United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

Information Notice No. 91-35: Labeling Requirements for Transporting Multi-Hazard Radioactive Materials

                                UNITED STATES
                        NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION
              OFFICE OF NUCLEAR MATERIAL SAFETY AND SAFEGUARDS
                           WASHINGTON, D.C.  20555

                                June 7, 1991 


Information Notice No. 91-35:  LABELING REQUIREMENTS FOR TRANSPORTING
                                   MULTI-HAZARD RADIOACTIVE MATERIALS


Addresses:

All U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) licensees.

Purpose:

This notice is provided to inform licensees of the U.S. Department of Trans-
portation (DOT) requirements for labeling packages containing hazardous 
materials that meet the definition of more than one hazard (e.g., 
Radioactive and Poison).  It is expected that licensees will review this 
information and consider action, if appropriate, to ensure that packages 
containing multi-hazard materials are properly labeled.  However, 
suggestions contained in this notice do not constitute new requirements; 
therefore no written response is required.

Description of Circumstances:

A licensee was found to have labeled its multi-hazard packages only for the 
radioactive hazard and not for the additional hazard.  An inspection 
revealed that the licensee inappropriately applied the exceptions for small 
quantities as stated in Section 173.4 of Title 49 of the Code of Federal 
Regulations (49 CFR 173.4) to package labeling.  The NRC has received 
information that other licensees who are shipping dual hazard materials may 
also be labeling the packages only for the radioactive hazard and not for 
the additional hazard.

Discussion:

The DOT regulates the transportation of hazardous material packages.  Under 
DOT rules, a shipper must classify a product according to its primary 
hazard.  Unless a specific exception from labeling is granted, every package 
containing a hazardous material must be labeled in accordance with this 
classification decision.  In addition to labeling for the specific class, 
labeling is often required for secondary hazards for materials meeting more 
than one hazard definition. 

Specifically, DOT requires that each package containing hazardous materials 
be labeled (49 CFR 172.400).  Additionally, Sections 172.402(a)(1) and 
172.403(e) require that packages containing materials that meet the 
definitions of radioactive and any other hazards must be separately labeled 
for each hazard.  Section 173.4 provides an exception from most of the DOT 
regulations, including labeling, for small quantities of materials that meet 
the definition for one or 

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                                                            June 7, 1991
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more hazard.  For the exception to apply, the packaged material must meet 
all applicable hazard quantity limitations (49 CFR 173.4(a)(1)(i-iv)). 

In the circumstances described herein, the material met the small quantity 
limit for the poison but did not meet the small quantity radioactive level 
limit.  Therefore, the exceptions provided in 49 CFR 173.4 do not apply, and 
the packages must be labeled in accordance with 49 CFR 172.402(a)(1) and 
172.403(e).  In this case, the regulations require that both RADIOACTIVE and 
POISON labels be affixed to the package.

This information notice does not require any written response.  If you have 
any questions on this matter, please contact the technical contact listed 
below or the appropriate NRC regional office.




                                        Robert F. Burnett, Director
                                        Division of Safeguards and
                                          Transportation
                                        Office of Nuclear Materials Safety
                                          and Safeguards


Technical Contacts:  J. R. Cook, NMSS
                     (301) 492-0458

                     K. M. Ramsey, NMSS 
                     (301) 492-0534

                     Office of Hazardous Materials 
                     Standards, DOT
                     (202) 366-4488


Attachments:   
1.  List of Recently Issued NRC Information Notices
2.  List of Recently Issued NMSS Information Notices

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