Nuclear Health and Safety: DOE Needs to Take Further Actions to Ensure Safe Transportation of Radioactive Materials, Report to the Chairman, Committee on Governmental Affairs, U.S. Senate   [open pdf - 2MB]

"Annually, the Department of Energy (DOE) makes thousands of shipments of radioactive materials as part of its national defense responsibilities. Federal regulators consider the required containers, or 'packages,' enclosing the radioactive materials to be the primary protection against serious hazards to human health, property, and the environment while the materials are in transit. These packages fall into three categories: strong, tight containers used to ship materials with very low levels of radioactivity, Type A packages used for materials with higher levels of radioactivity but which present a very small hazard, and Type B packages used for highly hazardous materials with radioactivity exceeding Type A package levels. The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs asked GAO to determine whether DOE is effectively self-regulating its transportation of high-level radioactive materials. To do this, GAO centered its work on the adequacy of DOE'S actions to resolve previous safety concerns regarding non-weapons packages and the extent to which problems exist with DOE'S certification of packages for transporting nuclear weapons materials."

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Government Accountability Office (GAO): http://www.gao.gov/
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