Emergency Response Guide No. 166 for RADIOACTIVE MATERIALS - CORROSIVE (Uranium Hexafluoride / Water-Sensitive)

Source: Emergency Response Guidebook (ERG)

  • Radiation presents minimal risk to transport workers, emergency response personnel and the public during transportation accidents. Packaging durability increases as potential radiation and criticality hazards of the content increase.
  • Chemical hazard greatly exceeds radiation hazard.
  • Substance reacts with water and water vapor in air to form toxic and corrosive hydrogen fluoride gas and an extremely irritating and corrosive, white-colored, water-soluble residue.
  • If inhaled, may be fatal.
  • Direct contact causes burns to skin, eyes, and respiratory tract.
  • Low-level radioactive material; very low radiation hazard to people.
  • Runoff from control of cargo fire may cause low-level pollution.
  • Substance does not burn.
  • The material may react violently with fuels.
  • Product will decompose to produce toxic and/or corrosive fumes.
  • Containers in protective overpacks (horizontal cylindrical shape with short legs for tie-downs), are identified with "AF", "B(U)F" or "H(U)" on shipping papers or by markings on the overpacks. They are designed and evaluated to withstand severe conditions including total engulfment in flames at temperatures of 800°C (1475°F) for a period of 30 minutes.
  • Bare filled cylinders, identified with UN2978 as part of the marking (may also be marked H(U) or H(M)), may rupture in heat of engulfing fire; bare empty (except for residue) cylinders will not rupture in fires.
  • Radioactivity does not change flammability or other properties of materials.

  • CALL Emergency Response Telephone Number on Shipping Paper first. If Shipping Paper not available or no answer, refer to appropriate telephone number listed on the inside back cover.
  • Priorities for rescue, life-saving, first aid, fire control and other hazards are higher than the priority for measuring radiation levels.
  • Radiation Authority must be notified of accident conditions. Radiation Authority is usually responsible for decisions about radiological consequences and closure of emergencies.
  • As an immediate precautionary measure, isolate spill or leak area for at least 25 meters (75 feet) in all directions.
  • Stay upwind, uphill and/or upstream.
  • Keep unauthorized personnel away.
  • Detain or isolate uninjured persons or equipment suspected to be contaminated; delay decontamination and cleanup until instructions are received from Radiation Authority.
  • Wear positive pressure self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA).
  • Wear chemical protective clothing that is specifically recommended by the manufacturer. It may provide little or no thermal protection.
  • Structural firefighters' protective clothing provides limited protection in fire situations ONLY; it is not effective in spill situations where direct contact with the substance is possible.
  • See Table 1 - Initial Isolation and Protective Action Distances.
  • When a large quantity of this material is involved in a major fire, consider an initial evacuation distance of 300 meters (1000 feet) in all directions.
  • [FLAG] In Canada, an Emergency Response Assistance Plan (ERAP) may be required for this product. Please consult the shipping document and/or the ERAP Program Section (page 391).

  • Move containers from fire area if you can do it without risk.
Small Fire
  • Dry chemical or CO2.
Large Fire
  • Water spray, fog or regular foam.
  • Cool containers with flooding quantities of water until well after fire is out.
  • If this is impossible, withdraw from area and let fire burn.
  • ALWAYS stay away from tanks engulfed in fire.
  • Do not touch damaged packages or spilled material.
  • Without fire or smoke, leak will be evident by visible and irritating vapors and residue forming at the point of release.
  • Use fine water spray to reduce vapors; do not put water directly on point of material release from container.
  • Residue buildup may self-seal small leaks.
  • Dike far ahead of spill to collect runoff water.
  • Ensure that medical personnel are aware of the material(s) involved and take precautions to protect themselves.
  • Call 911 or emergency medical service.
  • Medical problems take priority over radiological concerns.
  • Use first aid treatment according to the nature of the injury.
  • In case of contact with Hydrofluoric acid (UN1790),  flush with large amounts of water. For skin contact, if calcium gluconate gel is available, rinse 5 minutes, then apply gel.  Otherwise, continue rinsing until medical treatment is available. For eyes, flush with water or a saline solution for 15 minutes.
  • Do not delay care and transport of a seriously injured person.
  • Give artificial respiration if victim is not breathing.
  • Administer oxygen if breathing is difficult.
  • In case of contact with substance, immediately flush skin or eyes with running water for at least 20 minutes.
  • Effects of exposure (inhalation, ingestion or skin contact) to substance may be delayed.
  • Keep victim calm and warm.