Analysis of International Commodity Shipping Data and the Shipment of NORM to the United States

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As part of the Spreader Bar Radiation Detector project, PNNL analyzed US import data shipped through US ports collected over the 12 months of 2006 (over 4.5 million containers). Using these data, we extracted a variety of distributions that are of interest to modelers and developers of active and passive detection systems used to 'scan' IMCCs for potential contraband. This report expands on some of the analysis presented in an earlier report from LLNL, by investigation the foreign port distribution of commodities shipped to the US. The majority of containers shipped to the United States are 40 ft containers ({approx}70%); ... continued below

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Baciak, James E.; Ely, James H.; Schweppe, John E.; Sandness, Gerald A. & Robinson, Sean M. October 1, 2011.

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Description

As part of the Spreader Bar Radiation Detector project, PNNL analyzed US import data shipped through US ports collected over the 12 months of 2006 (over 4.5 million containers). Using these data, we extracted a variety of distributions that are of interest to modelers and developers of active and passive detection systems used to 'scan' IMCCs for potential contraband. This report expands on some of the analysis presented in an earlier report from LLNL, by investigation the foreign port distribution of commodities shipped to the US. The majority of containers shipped to the United States are 40 ft containers ({approx}70%); about 25% are 20 ft; and about 3.6% are 45 ft containers. A small fraction (<1%) of containers are of other more specialized sizes, and very few ports actually ship these unique size containers (a full distribution for all foreign ports is shown in Appendix A below). The primary foreign ports that ship the largest fraction of each container are shown in the table below. Given that 45 ft containers comprise 1 of out every 27 containers shipped to the US, and given the foreign ports from which they are shipped, they should not be ignored in screening; further testing and analysis of radiation measurements for national security with this size container is warranted. While a large amount of NORM is shipped in IMCCs, only a few specific commodities are shipped with enough frequency to present potential issues in screening IMCCs at ports. The majority of containers with NORM will contain fertilizers (5,700 containers), granite (59,000 containers), or ceramic (225,000 containers) materials. Fertilizers were generally shipping in either 20- or 40 ft containers with equal frequency. While granite is mostly shipped in 20 ft containers, ceramic materials can be shipped in either 20- or 40 ft containers. The size of container depended on the specific use of the ceramic or porcelain material. General construction ceramics (such as floor and roofing tiles) tend to be shipped in 20 ft containers. Consumer products made from ceramic materials (e.g., tableware, sinks, and toilets) are generally shipped in 40 ft containers. This distinct discrepancy is due in large part to the packaging of the commodity. Consumer products are generally shipped packed in a box loaded with Styrofoam or other packing material to protect the product from breakage. Construction ceramic materials are generally shipped in less packing material, many times consisting of only a cardboard or wooden box. Granite is almost always shipped in a 20 ft container, given its very high density.

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  • Report No.: PNNL-21088
  • Grant Number: AC05-76RL01830
  • DOI: 10.2172/1036932 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 1036932
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc836718

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) is the Department of Energy (DOE) office that collects, preserves, and disseminates DOE-sponsored research and development (R&D) results that are the outcomes of R&D projects or other funded activities at DOE labs and facilities nationwide and grantees at universities and other institutions.

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  • October 1, 2011

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • May 19, 2016, 3:16 p.m.

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  • Dec. 6, 2016, 6:58 p.m.

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Baciak, James E.; Ely, James H.; Schweppe, John E.; Sandness, Gerald A. & Robinson, Sean M. Analysis of International Commodity Shipping Data and the Shipment of NORM to the United States, report, October 1, 2011; Richland, Washington. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc836718/: accessed October 17, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.