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ened to deny transport for consignments. In particular, people have expressed growing concerns that radioactive material transported by sea, if inadvertently released, could affect a significant global area due to coastline contamination or disruption in commercial fishing. Consequently, issues of liability are continuing to be discussed by members of the IMO and the IAEA and their member states.

This paper will review these issues, with a particular focus on transport of spent nuclear fuel and high-level waste. The differences in safety and security will be discussed even though the terms have not yet been succinctly defined. The safety and physical protection in transport of spent nuclear fuel and high-level waste will be presented and the international acceptance of IAEA recommendations will be noted. A summary of the international liability regime will show the conventions that have been enabled to date. Data related to the international experience in shipping materials will also be presented. All of these discussion points demonstrate that the packagings used in transport are robust; that the likelihood of a release during transport is small; and that safety in the transport of radioactive material is not being compromised.


Before any discussion, the terms safety and security must be defined. The definitions presented here are limited to this paper. Subtleties exist in the definitions of these two terms, between languages and with different applications. In some languages safety and security mean the same thing. For this paper the discussion will focus on text derived from English dictionary definitions.

Because the terms have not been used together they are often defined in an unrelated manner, and there are certain schools that define security as a subset of safety. That is, safety of radioactive sources must involve the source being unable to be obtained by an unauthorized individual; however, a source that is simply secure may not be safe because of an unaddressed radiological hazard. Other schools identify them as separate but overlapping terms because nonradiological hazardous sources, such as poisons or flammables, that are secure may indeed be safe. Some schools consider safety as a part of security. Security of radiological sources potentially involves a threat analysis to determine the nature of security. Because of wide ranging hazards the application of safety and security is usually accomplished according to a graded approach, that is, the complexity of safety and security requirements will depend on the overall hazard of the materials. From a security perspective actions may range from a locked room for low hazards to armed guards for extremely high-hazard materials. Similarly, the application of radiological safety may range from limiting access to an area to excluding an area from most activity, for example, treatment of cancer with teletherapy devices.

For the purposes of this paper the following definitions are used: Safety relates to protection of people and the environment from unintentional exposure

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