FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Friday, March 1, 1996
CONTACT: Dr. Edwin Lyman
"By announcing it is approving enhanced safetv standards for air transport of radioactive material, the IAEA is perpetrating a dangerous fraud on the world's publics. The IAEA's decision to exempt highly toxic, plutonium-based fuel from stricter packaging requirements-on the basis of its presumed low dispersibility-negates the whole, decade- long exercise of developing stricter cask standards for the air transport of radioactive material. The IAEA refuses to respond to the clear technical evidence we have presented that this major reform is nothing but a sham. We plan to bring our findings to the attention of the Board of Governors, which has the final responsibility for approving the new transport standards."
The IAEA announcement of the new standard follows:
The International Atornic Energy Agency recently concluded a meeting of the Transport Safety Standards Advisory Committee which endorsed a comprehensive revision of the internationally accepted safety standards for the transport of radioactive material. These standards are published as the Agency's "Regulations for the Safe Transport of Radioactive Material", Safety Series No. 6. Several safety enhancements are included in the revised regulations, including more stringent requirements for the transport of larger quantities of radioactive material by aircraft. More stringent requirements include rigorous technical specifications to ensure that the transported materials are either of very low dispersibility and limited radiation hazard or, for dispersible materials, that they be packaged in more accident resistant packagings.
NCI stated its technical objections in a letter February 26, 1996, to IAEA Director-
General Hans Blix, asking him to suspend IAEA action on exempting plutoniurn-based fuel
from the new packaging standard. NCI will now press the matter with the IAEA Board of