Transportation of Gauges

Transportation of Gauges

U.S. Government Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations control the transportation of radioactive materials on public roads.

All gauges are furnished with Type A shipping and storage containers. They are labeled with Yellow II labels which means that the radiation field outside of the container is less than 50 mR/hr on any surface and less than 1.0 mR/hr at one meter from any surface. Under these conditions, no placarding of the vehicle is required. These devices must only be transported in their approved labeled shipping containers. The instructions in this manual apply only to transportation to and from a work site. Contact EH&S for other types of shipment (e.g., shipment back to the manufacturer). 

Only properly trained and licensed operators can transport and use the gauge. You may only transport the gauges to sites that are listed as approved locations on your UC Davis Radiation Use Authorization.

Marking and Labeling
The shipping container must be marked with RQ, its proper shipping name and UN number:

RQ, Radioactive material, Type A package, special form UN3332

Additionally, it must be marked with the following:


Finally, if the gross weight is more than 50 kg (110 lbs), then the package must have its gross weight marked along with the unit of measure. 

The shipping container must be labeled with two Yellow II labels on opposite sides of the container. The following information must be filled out on each Yellow II label:

Contents: Am-241 or Cs-137 and Am-241 

Activity: (Total in GBq) 

Transport Index: (Depending on model of hydroprobe)

Transportation Shipping Documents
When transported on public roads, a copy of the Bill of Lading (Attachment 4) and the Emergency Response Information (Attachment 5) must in the vehicle. Retain a single copy of the permanent Bill of Lading for multiple shipments of a hydroprobe.

  1. Maintain a separate log for each shipment made, including:

    • Proper shipping name
    • UN Number
    • Activity in each shipment in GBq
    • Date of shipment
  2. Attachment 6 is a copy of a suitable log form.
  3. A copy of the current International Atomic Energy Agency Certificate of Competent Authority (Special Form Certificate) for each source must be maintained on file for at least one year after the last shipment.
  4. The shipping container Type A packaging test methods and results must be maintained on file for at least one year after the last shipment.

Security Seals
Each Type A package must incorporate a feature, such as a seal, that is not breakable, and that, while intact is evidence that the package has not been opened. Locks do not meet this requirement. The seal is required when transporting a gauge to or from a work site.

Inspecting Package Before Shipment
You must inspect each shipping container before each shipment to ensure that it is in unimpaired physical condition, except for superficial marks, and that each closure device (hinge, hasp, latch, etc.) is properly installed, secured and free of defects.

Loading Requirements 
The shipping container cannot be carried in compartments occupied by passengers. 

The shipping container must be loaded at least one foot from vehicle occupants.

The shipping container must be secured against movement in the vehicle under conditions normally incident to transportation.

Persons should not remain unnecessarily in a vehicle containing a loaded shipping container. 

Shipping Papers and Emergency Response Information Accessibility
The shipping papers (including the emergency response information) must be readily available to, and recognizable, by authorities in event of an accident or inspection. These documents must be clearly distinguished, if carried with other papers, by either tabbing them or having them appear first in the stack of papers. 

When the driver is at the controls of the vehicle, the shipping papers must be within immediate reach while the driver is restrained by the lap belt. The papers must be either readily visible to a person entering the driver’s compartment (e.g., on the seat next to the driver) or in a holder which is mounted to the inside of the door on the driver’s side of the vehicle. 

When the driver is not at the controls of the vehicle, the shipping papers must be on the driver’s seat or in a holder which is mounted to the inside of the door on the driver’s side of the vehicle.

Security During Transport
Vehicles must be equipped to provide security of the transport container. The method selected must provide for a fixed and permanent attachment to the vehicle frame. When secondary containers are used for the transport cases, they must be attached to the vehicle with tamper resistant fasteners to the frame of the vehicle.

A minimum of two locks must be placed between the radioactive source and the public when the devise is being transported, in addition to the locks securing the transportation cask to the vehicle.

The transport vehicle must be equipped with a security device (such as an alarm system or steering wheel club) capable of deterring unauthorized entry, access and use of the vehicle.

Local law enforcement shall be notified immediately in the event of loss or theft.