EPA's Pilot Study for International Transborder Interception of Radioactive Scrap Metal


C. Laikin, C. Blue, D. Kappelman, G. Brozowski


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), at the request of the U.S. Customs Service, is initiated a pilot study to collect data to begin to understand the frequency with which radioactively contaminated scrap metal is imported into the United States and begin to assess the need to develop improved systems for safeguarding the nation's borders against potential radioactive contamination from imported scrap metals. The selected port for this pilot project is in the U.S. Customs New Orleans District, in Louisiana, which is among the largest U.S. seaports for imported scrap metals. This collaborative effort also includes EPA's Region VI Office, U.S. Customs Service, U.S. Department of Energy, State of Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, and industry representatives. To accomplish the project objectives, EPA is focusing its effort on the following: Developing operational, notification, communication procedures and protocols. Recommending, procuring, testing, calibrating, and implementing appropriate instrumentation to be used for the pilot study. Collecting data on the type of metal imported, country of origin, any radionuclides found, etc. EPA will report its pilot project findings to the U.S. Customs Service. This pilot study is a first step in determining if the importation of contaminated scrap metal is a problem that needs to be addressed. The study findings will help EPA determine what future actions should be taken, if any, to address the issue.


This abstract was presented at the 35th Annual Midyear Meeting, "Decommissioning and Environmental Restoration", Regulatory Issues Session, 2/17/2002 - 2/20/2002, held in Orlando, FL.

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