Due to the potentially dangerous properties of radioactive material, it is during the transport that the process of nuclear energy and technology uses are prone to nuclear and radiation accidents. Radioactive material hence must be transported with reasonable containers to achieve heat dissipation, confinement of radioactive material, radiation shielding and prevention of nuclear criticality. The key to transport safety lies in the designing and manufacturing quality of the transport containers. Therefore, the safety supervision for transport containers of radioactive material is a guarantee for the environment and the public from nuclear and radiation hazards, also is international general practice.

As the most authoritative international organization, International Atomic Energy Agenda (IAEA) draws up and regularly revises safety regulation ‘Regulation for the Safe Transport of Radioactive Material’, which proposes technical indicators for transport containers of radioactive material and responsibility of competent authorities. According to the transport modes, other international organizations, such as International Maritime Organization, International Civil Aviation Organization, International Air Transport Association, United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, enacted related transport safety regulations based on actual needs.

This paper introduces the administrative licensing approval process for the transport containers of radioactive material in China and the research on competent authority and approval procedure in American, Russia, France, Canada, Germany and Great Britain. In China, National Nuclear Safe Administration (NNSA) is responsible for the licensing approval for the transport containers of radioactive material, including designing, manufacturing, using and transporting of transport containers. NNSA also organizes and formulates relevant administrative regulations and approval procedures, and has issued administrative regulation ‘Regulation on the Safe Management for the Transport of Radioactive Material’ and a series of administrative rules, management procedures, guide, technical documents and so on. These regulations established the sort management of radioactive materials and the responsibility for competent authority, and also stipulated approval and supervision for transport and transport containers of radioactive materials. While some other countries, such as America, certifies the transport containers of radioactive material to achieve the control.

The domestic and overseas research into administrative licensing approval processes for transport containers is in view of the increasing transport of radioactive material among countries and the requirement of international transport. Transport containers with material of high potential risk, such as spent fuel, need to obtain the transport approval from the competent authority of transit or arrival country. Therefore, the research on domestic and other countries licensing management of transport containers of radioactive material, which is not only beneficial to improving the transport safety management of radioactive material in China, but also can promote international transport campaigns of radioactive material..

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