The philosophy of the IAEA Regulations is that safety is ensured
by the packaging no matter what mode of transport is used. Under
these Regulations the packaging design has to meet a series of
rigorous impact, fire and immersion tests, notably:
- two drop tests - a 9 metre drop onto an unyielding surface and
a 1 metre drop onto a steel punch bar;
- a subsequent fire test in which the package is subjected to a
fully engulfing fire of 800°C for 30 minutes;
- immersion test where the cask is then subjected to conditions
equivalent to 15 metre submersion for 8 hours. For casks designed
for the more highly radioactive materials there is an enhanced
immersion test of 200 metres for 1 hour.
These tests ensure that packages can withstand transport
accidents involving crashes, fires or submergence which can be
realistically envisaged and, in the case of fissile materials,
ensure that an unwanted chain reaction cannot occur.
National competent authorities must certify the Type B package.
Once the packaging design has been approved, it can be used for
surface transport by truck, rail or ship.