Office for Nuclear Regulation

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Notices served on transport logistics companies

4 February, 2019

The Office for Nuclear Regulation has served Improvement Notices on two transport logistics companies following breaches in regulations for the safe transport of radioactive materials.

There were no safety consequences to people or the environment as a result of the incident in September 2018, but ONR requires evidence that lessons have been learnt and the required procedural improvements have been made.

The Improvement Notices were issued to UCH Logistics Ltd and XPand Logistics Ltd after it emerged that two packages containing civil radioactive materials had not been transported in accordance with UK requirements.

The issue arose after two sealed radioactive sources safely arrived at a storage and distribution hub close to Heathrow airport. The sources involved are of a type commonly used in many applications throughout the world including oil well logging, oil refining and construction.

Upon arriving at the transport hub, the packages were consigned and transported by the two companies in question, despite neither having the required procedures in place. In turn, the sources were delivered to a third party storage depot where the nature of the packages was identified and arrangements were made for their safe transfer to an appropriate facility.

The Improvement Notices require UCH Logistics, the carrier in this incident, to demonstrate improvements in its emergency arrangements and risk assessment procedures. XPand Logistics, the freight forwarder, must also implement improvements in its emergency arrangements.

ONR Deputy Chief Inspector, Dr Anthony Hart, said: “Although there was no impact on the public as a result of this incident, there are a range of legal requirements that should be followed in order to ensure the safe transport of radioactive materials in the UK.

“In instances where we identify compliance shortfalls of this nature, it is important that we see that lessons are learnt and that the necessary improvements are made in a timely manner.”

The two companies must comply with the ONR Improvement Notices by 28 February, 2019.