Major Change to Transportation Regulations for Neutron Detectors Containing Boron Trifluoride

At the twenty-third session of the ICAO Dangerous Goods Panel, which took place in October, 2011, in Montreal, a special provision allowing the international cargo aircraft shipment of BF3 neutron detectors was adopted.  IATA Special Provision A190 went into effect on January 1, 2013, and appears in the IATA dangerous goods regulations under the entry for Boron trifluoride in the dangerous goods table.  It applies to BF3 neutron detectors containing more than 1 gram to 12.8 grams of BF3 and filled to no more than 105 kPa absolute at 20 degrees C.  In addition, radiation detection systems, including radiation portal monitors, containing up to 51.2 grams of BF3 may be shipped under the special provision.

Furthermore, BF3 neutron detectors containing 1 gram or less of BF3 are now unregulated for domestic as well as international shipment - a change that will greatly facilitate the transportation of health physics instrumentation, survey meters and oil well logging instrumentation.

Transportation regulations are constantly evolving to encompass and address the shipment of commodities that fall outside of the broad categories and definitions of the existing dangerous goods regulations.  Working with various international agencies and with the U.S. DOT, LND was able to find agreement in the dangerous goods transportation community about the safety of these devices and systems and the need for a special provision to clarify this transportation issue.

In summary, IATA Special Provision A190 and U.S. DOT Special Provision 238 make the world-wide cargo aircraft, ocean vessel, rail and road shipment of BF3 neutron detectors and detection systems a simple and straightforward matter, eliminating the need for special permits or approvals.

If you have any questions, please contact Spencer B. Neyland, VP for Operations.