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Addressing the Monitoring and Transport of Radioactively Contaminated Scrap Metal: An International Approach

[+] Author Affiliations
Ronald B. Pope

Consultant, Waynesboro, PA

Deborah Kopsick

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, D.C.

Shih-Yew Chen

Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, IL

Ray Turner

River Metals Recycling, Fort Mitchell, KY

Martin Magold

United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), Geneva, Switzerland

Paper No. PVP2006-ICPVT-11-93668, pp. 623-630; 8 pages
  • ASME 2006 Pressure Vessels and Piping/ICPVT-11 Conference
  • Volume 7: Operations, Applications, and Components
  • Vancouver, BC, Canada, July 23–27, 2006
  • Conference Sponsors: Pressure Vessels and Piping Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4758-6 | eISBN: 0-7918-3782-3
  • Copyright © 2006 by ASME


The international metal processing industries are very concerned about the importation of scrap metal contaminated by radioactivity. Many of the problems are being identified while these materials, either unprocessed scrap, or processed materials, are being transported in the public domain. Because of this concern, the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), with the support of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) circulated a survey to various countries and interested groups. Following assessment of the survey, a meeting was convened in April 2004 to discuss and evaluate the issues. Three major issues were identified at the initial meeting. • First, an internationally acceptable scrap metal radiation monitoring and response protocol is needed. • Second, international training programs are needed to address multiple areas, almost all having emphasis on the transport mode; these include addressing such topics as protocol implementation, optimum location of monitors, acceptable detector sensitivities, calibration and maintenance needs, incident reporting, handling radioactive materials after detection. • Third, international information exchange within the scrap metal industry is needed to share data and experiences on contaminated scrap incidents, especially those occurring at international borders during the transport of these materials. The “open border” policy of the European Union makes the collection and dissemination of this information sharing particularly time critical. The paper reviews the results of the initial meeting, and elaborates on the efforts undertaken since that meeting.

Copyright © 2006 by ASME
Topics: Scrap metals



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