iia contributes to call for National Focal Points
The iia has contributed to a video that will be presented at the IAEA Technical Meeting on ‘Denial of Shipments – Issues and Solutions’ on 23-26 March 2021. The video was created by the Transport Facilitation Working Group (TFWG) of which iia is a member and calls for the re-establishment of National Focal Points (NFPs) within all IAEA member states. A number of papers have also been submitted to the meeting by TFWG members from a wide range of industries.
A denial of shipment can be defined as a refusal to carry a shipment of radioactive material even though it conforms to all the applicable national and international regulations. A denial may be a result of a shipper, port or harbour refusing to handle radioactive material for a wide range of reasons. NFPs have an important role to play in ensuring that the causes and instances of denials are addressed and successfully resolved as well as being a point of contact for facilitating the export and/or import of radioactive material. A regional or international network of NFPs can bring together key stakeholders, such as regulators, government agencies, customs organisations, shippers and port authorities to monitor the security of supply of critical radioactive material and address issues as and when they arise.
Issues of denial and delay of shipments have most recently impacted the nuclear medicine industry that uses airfreight to transport short lived isotopes. The Cobalt-60 supply chain relies on international transport, particularly sea and road freight, due to a small number of manufacturers supplying to a large number of users globally. Whilst the Cobalt-60 industry manages its international transport arrangements extremely well, an effective network of NFPs will result in increased shipping options and greater flexibility for our industry.