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Transport security and safeguards

The security of radioactive materials during transport within GB is regulated by ONR under the following legislation:

  • Carriage of Dangerous Goods and Use of Transportable Pressure Systems Regulations 2009 (CDG09)
  • Nuclear Industries Security Regulations 2003 (NISR)
  • Ionising Radiations Regulations 2017 (IRR17)  

Each of these places duties on those holding and transporting radioactive materials. In particular, certain requirements are relevant to those carrying high activity sealed sources (HASS), high consequence radioactive material (HCRM) and materials categorised under NISR. Duties are also placed on those that hold and move “nuclear materials”. As of 1 January 2021, ONR is the safeguards regulator operating the UK State System of Accountancy for, and Control of, Nuclear Materials.

Dutyholders are required to ensure that they comply with all legal requirements for security and safeguards of the transport of Class 7 (radioactive goods) relevant to the hazard and risk to those involved and the public.

How we regulate

ONR's purposes under the Energy Act 2013 include transport, security and safeguards. The regulation of Class 7 dangerous goods transport can involve inspectors from different disciplines in ONR, who regularly carry out joint activities. For example, the security of Category 1 materials (under NISR) or high consequence dangerous goods (under CDG09, ADR and RID) by a consignor or carrier.

In some cases, we will inspect and/or assess a dutyholder's arrangements collectively with the relevant other divisions, for example the transport of nuclear material. In other cases it may inspect a dutyholder's transport arrangements and cover security provisions as part of this, for example a non-nuclear duty holder.

In each case, where the transport of Class 7 goods (radioactive materials) involves transporting material that requires additional security measures over and above the general requirements of CDG09, ONR's Transport Competent Authority will engage with ONR CNSS as appropriate.

We have produced guidance to help dutyholders transporting radioactive material by road and rail in Great Britain to determine the security requirements to be complied with in the transport of all Class 7 radioactive material, and the additional provisions to be implemented for transporting dangerous goods of Class 7, high consequence radioactive material.

See also