Ten years ago Atomic Energy of Canada developed a Type B(U)-85 shipping container for the global transport of highly radioactive materials. This paper reviews the development of the container, including a summary of the design requirements, a review of the selected materials and key design elements, and the results of the major qualification tests (drop testing, fire test, leak tightness testing, and shielding integrity tests). As a result of the testing, improvements to the structural, thermal and containment design were made. Such improvements, and reasons thereof, are noted. Also provided is a summary of the additional analysis work required to upgrade the package from a Type B(U) to a Type B(F), i.e. essentially upgrading the container to include fissile radioisotopes to the authorized radioactive contents list. Having a certified shipping container is only one aspect governing the global shipments of radioactive material. By necessity the shipment of radioactive material is a highly regulated environment. This paper also explores the experiences with other key aspects of radioactive shipments, including the service procedures used to maintain the container certification, the associated compliance program for radioactive material shipments, and the shipping logistics involved in the transport.

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