June 17, 1996
Dr. Assad Kotaite
President of the Council
International Civil Aviation Organization
1000 Sherbrooke Street West
Montreal, Quebec H3A 2R2
Dear Dr. Kotaite:
For your information, enclosed is an exchange of correspondence between the Nuclear Control Institute and IAEA Director General Hans Blix and IAEA Nuclear Safety Department Director Morris Rosen, and related materials concerning the impending revision of IAEA Safety Series 6, to establish a special standard for air shipments of radioactive material. We have expressed our deep concern that the revised Safety Series 6, as presently drafted, would permit plutonium and mixed-oxide fuels to be flown in casks that could not withstand impacts and fires associated with severe aviation accidents.
The United States Government recently re-stated its position that plutonium flights will not be allowed over the U.S. in the proposed Type B or Type C casks. We ask that you review the draft standards and urge the IAEA to establish realistic crash and fire standards. Until a cask is built and tested to meet this realistic standard, Safety Series 6 should prohibit air shipments of plutonium and mixed-oxide fuel.
Thank you for your consideration of this urgent matter. We would be pleased to discuss this matter with you in greater detail.
Dr. Edwin Lyman
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