Satellite Tracking of Radioactive Shipments — High Technology Solution to Tough Institutional Problems

  • P. D. Grimm


Four troublesome institutional issues face every large-quantity radioactive materials shipment:
  • Routing: Where is the shipment going and how is it getting there?

  • Pre-notification: States want to know what is being shipped and when?

  • Emergency Response: What kind of response to accidents is needed for this shipment and who will respond?

  • Transportation Management: Optimizing use of the vehicle on packages transporting materials.

The Transportation Communication System (TRANSCOM), which is under development by DOE, is based on a rapidly developing technology which determines geographical loction using geo-positioning satellite systems. This technology will be used to track unclassified radioactive materials shipments in real-time. It puts those charged with monitoring transportation status in contact with every shipment. In addition to practical benefits in the areas of logistics planning and execution, its demonstrations of emergency preparedness have indeed been considered and close monitoring is possible. This paper will describe TRANSCOM in its technical detail and DOE plans and policy for its implementation. The state of satellite positioning technology and its business future will also be discussed.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. D. Grimm
    • 1
  1. 1.United States Department of Energy (DOE)USA

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