Radiation Protection Today - Winter 2022 Issue 4 - Page 16

Characterisation

Providing the right information at the right time for decision making
Richard Gunn has over 40 years ’ experience of nuclear characterisation across a wide range of sites and applications . This has included providing radiometric measurement support for process operations , facility decommissioning and waste management , as well as R & D . More recently he has been involved in Characterisation Strategy and Planning development . He is a Principal Consultant with Cavendish Nuclear Ltd .
The Characterisation Planning Process To be effective , characterisation must be planned . Current industry guidance and good practice recommend the use of a step-wise systematic planning process . This helps ensure that everything is done in the right Createc , Ltd System order , and nothing is missed . It also ensures that the information obtained is of an appropriate quality and quantity Gamma . An Reality example is shown below : Inc System
The Systematic Planning Process
What is Characterisation ?
Characterisation is the process of gathering information on the characteristics of a material , item or waste . This characteristic information may include a wide range of properties : physical , chemical or radiological . Characterisation is all about delivering the right information at the right time for decision making .
In decommissioning , information is needed to help decide how the approach can be optimised and may include details of the hazards from which operatives must be protected .
For waste management , information is needed on what categories of waste are present and whether there are opportunities to divert waste for recycling or landfill disposal . Evidence may be required that the waste fully complies with the Conditions for Acceptance for a disposal or treatment facility .
Information on the characteristics of the land beneath a site may be needed to ensure that it meets acceptable “ endstate ” criteria following decommissioning and remediation .
During the planning process , it is important to ensure that relevant stakeholders are engaged , and to agree a clear set of objectives or goals at the outset . Other important steps include determining what information we have already , potentially reducing the need to collect new data .
Optimising the Approach The basic approaches to gathering characterisation data fall into three main groups , shown as the three corners of the triangle on the next page :
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