Radiation Protection Today - Winter 2022 Issue 4 - Page 24

Project Areas A desk study should be performed to identify the nature and extent of work with radioactive materials which may have been undertaken . This typically includes general access areas ; all areas where radioactivity was used or stored ; drains ( internal and external ) and extract ductwork ; containment devices ; special areas ( incinerators , sumps , macerators , etc .); outside grounds / burial pits / heritage areas ; sealed sources ; and smoke detectors / tritium light devices / uranium glazed signs .

Regulatory Issues The objective of any radiological decontamination and decommissioning works must be understood at the start of the project . The objective may be to allow the area to be refurbished for another use , or it may be to achieve surrender of relevant regulatory permits , as issued under The Environmental Permitting Regulations ( England and Wales ) Regulations 2016 ( as amended ) ( EPR16 ) in England and Wales , the Radioactive Substances Act 1993 in Northern Ireland , or The Environmental Authorisations ( Scotland ) Regulations 2018 ( EA ( S ) R ). Reports and documentation form an important part of the portfolio of evidence required to be submitted to the regulator . Regulatory agreement for the strategy should be sought early on . Additionally , such evidence will form a significant part of any due diligence requirements by third parties associated with site divestment and acquisition .
Radiological sampling of glass dilution recovery vessel
Decommissioning work must be carried out in a safe and responsible manner by experienced and suitably trained staff . Prevention and minimisation of potential personal exposure to radioactive materials or contamination is an essential requirement under The Ionising Radiations Regulations 2017 ( IRR17 ). However other potential hazards such as manual handling , working at height , biological , chemical , asbestos , etc . may often present a greater risk to personnel , and must also be considered as a part of the risk assessment underpinning the entire decontamination and decommissioning strategy .
Some Practical Aspects To deliver a successful decommissioning project , multiple engagement , health and safety , and logistical factors must be considered , including initial risk assessments and method statement ; confirmation of radiological status by survey / sampling ; waste segregation ; waste containment / minimisation ( use of Best Available Techniques ); prevention of contamination spread ; difficulty of access to some engineering areas ; difficulty deconstructing fume cupboards ; pressure jetting / CCTV condition survey for external drains ; clearance levels and use of mass / activity averaging over a volume ; and support from key onsite staff .
Conclusions While this article has focussed on the decommissioning strategy adopted by a life sciences organisation and Aurora in the radiological decontamination and decommissioning of a number of UK R & D facilities , the same approach is equally valid for other sectors where radiological contamination may exist , e . g . higher education , former MoD sites , historically contaminated land , and brownfield sites .
Completion of laboratory decontamination and decommissioning works
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