About the TSUSG

Our Mission

The TSUSG is a working group of professionals who ensure radioactive materials are safely and securely transported across North America.

Our Purpose

The TSUSG provides a forum for local, state, and federal governments; state and federal law enforcement; carriers; forwarders; source producers; and other stakeholders to identify transport security concerns and exchange best practices. These stakeholders share a primary operational goal: ensure the safe and secure transport of radioactive materials into, through, and out of the United States.

Our History

In 2018, the Office of Radiological Security asked Oak Ridge National Laboratory a simple question: is radioactive material safe as it’s being moved around North America? Each year, about 2,000 shipments of radioisotopes—with a combined total activity averaging nearly 60 million curies—are shipped by land, air, and sea all over the United States, engaging nearly every state. This material is crucial for medical treatments among other uses. If this material is diverted away from patients or intercepted and used for other unintended uses, are we in danger?

ORNL looked into it and found out, generally speaking, yes, radioactive material was safely being moved around the country. There was a healthy regulatory environment and a good safety and security culture across those who were involved in moving radioactive sources in the United States.

However, it could be better. One of the recommendations from the report was to create a cross functional organization to improve standards across the country with people from the shipping industry; local, state, and federal governments; law enforcement; and others. This evolved into the Transportation Security UNIFIED Stakeholders Group, or what we call the TSUSG. The group started in 2019 and continues to grow in membership and priorities year over year.

Today, the TSUSG has over 100 voluntary members from across government, law enforcement, private industry, and professional associations. Members examine potential transport security issues from all aspects of shipping radioactive material. The goal is to make North America safer by delivering needed supplies to medical facilities and research labs by preventing it from falling into the wrong hands.

Our Approach

Members of the TSUSG are what make this group effective. Through volunteering to represent their organization or affiliation at TSUSG events, members provide an understanding of both the challenges and potential solutions to improve security and communications.

What the TSUSG focuses on is the mutual collaboration between government and industry. The government makes regulations that are enforce by law enforcement and used by industry. Those in industry may see challenges before government can update regulations. Government needs feedback to know what to update. And law enforcement needs to stay current in order to enforce the correct measures.

Oak Ridge National Laboratory is managed by UT-Battelle LLC for the US Department of Energy