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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 9106030272 . IN 91-35 June 7, 1991 Page 2 of 2 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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