Each day thousands of radioactive material packages are transported within, between and into and out of EU Member States on land, water and by air. It accounts for 1% of the dangerous goods transports in Europe. The transport involves many types of nuclear and non-nuclear radioactive materials and radiation sources for applications in medicine, research, industry, agriculture, geology and nuclear power production in quantities ranging from negligible amounts of radioisotopes used in consumer goods to - although infrequently - very large quantities of radioactivity of some 100.000 Tera-Becquerel in shipments of irradiated nuclear fuel or high-level radioactive waste.
The great majority of the radioactive material shipments consist of relatively small quantities of radiopharmaceuticals, radioactive compounds, radioactive samples, research and gauging sources, radioactive residuals and waste and other commodities containing radioactive substances which serve our daily lives. A major fraction of these radioactive material shipments are international (transboundary) transports.
The transport activities vary in size and complexity and may involve numerous organisations, e.g. Competent Authorities, consignors, shipping agents, carriers, and consignees.