It will be necessary in the future to transport spent nuclear fuel on a large-scale basis from nuclear power plant sites to interim storage and/or a repository. Shipments of radioactive material are required to comply with regulations limiting the dose rate to no more than 0.1 mSv (10 mrem) per hour at 2 meters from the sides of the vehicle transporting the package. Determining the resulting dose to the public will be necessary for a number of reasons (e.g., stakeholder concerns, environmental impact statements). In order to understand the dose consequence of such a transportation system, this paper describes a method for determining unit dose factors. These are defined as the dose to the public per unit distance traveled along a road, rail, or waterway from one shipment assuming unit values for the other route specific parameters. The actual dose to the public is calculated using unit dose factors, the dose rate due to the radiation field emanating from the package, and characteristics of the route itself. Route specific parameters include the speed of the conveyance, the population density, and characteristics of the environment surrounding the route; these are provided by a routing tool. Using these unit dose factors, in conjunction with a routing tool, it will be possible to quantify the collective dose to the public and understand the ramifications of choosing specific routes.

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