Radiation Protection Today - Winter 2022 Issue 4 | Page 11

Lessons From History

Decommissioning non-nuclear facilities
During her long career as an RPA and RWA , Sheila Liddle has been involved in decommissioning projects in both the nuclear and non-nuclear sectors . This case study illustrates some of the challenges common to decommissioning non-nuclear facilities which began operation before legislation required detailed records to be kept .
As a Health Physicist in the nuclear industry and an RPA and RWA in the non-nuclear sector I have been involved in a number of projects which have involved some form of decommissioning . One site which used unsealed or ' open sources ' was a research facility which contained controlled environment units and laboratories which had been used since the 1950s . In 2004 , various laboratories in the research station were closed , with all radioactive stock solutions moved to a sister facility .
The research station had been issued with a permit under the various Radioactive Substances Acts to hold and use unsealed radioactive sources . When I first became involved in 2004 , the facility had an Estates Manager , whose staff looked after day-to-day matters such as waste disposal , dosimetry and records .
To be able to close the site , the company was required to produce a Radiological Statement to accompany the application for surrender of the radioactive substances authorisation to the Environment Agency . This was where the problems began . Since there was no legal requirement to maintain records of source inventories or contamination monitoring beyond two years from when the
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