Transporting nuclear materials within the United States and throughout the world is a complicated and sometimes highly controversial effort requiring specialized expertise. Technical experts within the Transportation Services group provide project management, technical assistance, transportation planning and institutional programs directed at successfully shipping high level waste and spent nuclear fuel across the country and internationally.
The Transportation Services team assists with and/or performs all of the activities needed to plan, prepare, manage and conduct successful shipments of radioactive fuels and materials. Projects may be as simple as providing consulting, advisory or independent verification of all aspects of a shipment, or as complex as providing the total planning, preparations and management of a single shipment and/or campaign.
The Team of technical experts are recognized for their experience in nuclear materials transport, operations, safety, emergency response, public and media communications, security, and knowing and understanding laws, regulations and requirements for both national and international shipments.
Examples of major transportation projects supported by the Transportation Services group include:
Transportation Emergency Preparedness Program
Transportation Services staff lead Transportation Emergency Preparedness Program (TEPP) activities for DOE Regions 6, 7 and 8. TEPP integrates a basic approach to transportation emergency planning and preparedness activities under a single program with the goal to ensure DOE, its operating contractors, and state, tribal, and local emergency responders are prepared to respond promptly, efficiently, and effectively to accidents involving DOE shipments of radioactive material. TEPP is designed and implemented using an approach to ensure that initial responders to a radiological transportation accident have the necessary knowledge and skills needed to effectively and safely mitigate the accident.
- The TEPP mission is to ensure that federal, state, tribal, and local responders have access to the plans, training, and technical assistance necessary to safely, efficiently, and effectively respond to transportation accidents involving DOE-owned radioactive materials. To accomplish this mission, a suite of tools have been developed to aid the response jurisdictions in their readiness activities.
Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management
- The Transportation Services team provides technical expertise and support to the Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management (OCRWM) Office of Logistics Management (OLM) transportation planning activities. Support includes the development of technical assistance approaches to support tribal involvement in transportation planning and training and detailed research and analysis in support of OLM’s benchmarking/best practices project
Russian Research Reactor Fuel Return Program
- The Idaho National Laboratory is playing a major roll in the Russian Research Reactor Fuel Return (RRRFR) Program. In December 1999, representatives from the United States, Russian Federation, and International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) began working on a program to return Soviet and Russian-supplied high-enriched uranium (HEU) fuel, currently stored at Ex-Soviet Union sponsored foreign research reactors, to Russia. This effort is funded under the Russian Research Reactor Fuel Return (RRRFR) Program. The RRRFR Program is in support of DOE's Global Threat Reduction Initiative. The RRRFR Program is a nuclear nonproliferation initiative for eliminating stockpiles of HEU nuclear materials by encouraging eligible countries to convert their research reactors from HEU to low-enriched uranium (LEU) fuel upon availability, qualification, and licensing of suitable LEU fuel.