Topics: International Atomic Energy Agency, Radioactive contamination, Radioactive waste Pages: 7 (1442 words) Published: February 2, 2013
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Transport Safety
Why do we need to transport radioactive materials? Radioactive materials have been used to enhance the quality of our lives for over a century. Today, all manner of products that we take for granted are dependent upon the reliable transport of radioactive materials from manufacturer to end user. Several examples of such applications are described in below. * In health care radioactive materials are used to diagnose and treat illnesses such as cancer, heart disease and organ failure. Eighty percent of surgical gloves and nearly 50% of disposable medical devices are sterilized using radioactive materials. * In industry radioactive materials are used for non-destructive testing, thereby supporting the construction and safety control of cars, airplanes, bridges and buildings. They are also used to produce improved plastics, detergents and semiconductors. * In our homes and work places, smoke detectors and energy saving lights often contain small quantities of radioactive material. Some foods, packagings and the natural ingredients in cosmetics and medicines are sterilized using radioactive material. * In our environment radioactive materials are used for the control of disease carrying insects. They also help to remove pests in food and other goods, thus reducing the use of fumigation that is both toxic and harmful to the ozone layer.  Additionally, radioactive materials are used to generate stable and cost efficient electricity to power our homes and places of work.  New applications of radioactive material are being developed and the use of this technology continues to expand. This makes the efficient transport of radioactive material even more indispensable. * Radioactive material and mobile phones — If you own a computer or a mobile phone, then it will almost certainly contain electronic components made of tantalum metal. * Tantalum is not radioactive, but most of the minerals from which it is extracted are. These minerals have to be transported to processing facilities and in most cases have to be declared as radioactive materials. Besides electronics, tantalum is used to create advanced materials for aircraft engines and medical implants. * Cobalt-60: The silent slave — Cobalt-60 is a radioactive form of cobalt, a naturally occurring element that is often used in alloys. Like many other forms of radioactive material, it plays a hidden role in improving or saving lives. Cobalt-60 is used for treating cancer and is involved in some 45,000 treatments/day in more than 50 countries around the world. Furthermore, nearly 50% of all single-use medical disposable products – including gloves, sutures, needles and dressings – are sterilized using cobalt-60. All parts of the transport chain needed collaborate to make sure this vital product is delivered in a timely manner to those sites involved in these critical health care applications. A strong regulatory framework

In 1961, the IAEA published its first regulations for the safe transport of radioactive material. These regulations have been reviewed...
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