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Best Practices

Relevant national level guidance on dealing with radioactive scrap metal is provided below.

Belgium's system to finance the cost of dealing with orphan sources
Belgium directive portal (in French and Dutch)
Belgium technical annex on portal (in French and Dutch)
Belgium statistics incident (in English)
Belgian global approach on the radiological surveillance of radioactive substances in metal scrap and non-radioactive waste (in English)

Procedures for financing incidents (in English)

Paper from Brazil demonstrating the difficulty in detecting a shielded radioactive source inside a heavy truck (in English)

Canada response alarms1 (in English)
Canada response alarms2 (in English)
Canada study on radiation alarms at waste facilities (in English)

The attached presentation gives an example of the procedure followed and lessons learnt when a spent sealed radioactive source went missing from a mining company.

Summary Information on Procedures followed by the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) Concerning Radioactive Scrap Metal

Procedure for radioactive material seizure (in English)

French Society for Radioprotection (SFRP - site in French)

Detection of Unauthorized Movement of Radioactive Sources in the Public Domain for Regaining Control on Orphan Sources - Systems and Feasibility – A paper describing systems developed using plastic scintillators and their applications in monitoring radioactive sources in India (in English)

Overview of legal instruments (in Italian)

Order of the Minister of Health, Regulations for the Control of High-Activity Sealed Radioactive Sources and Orphan Sources ". The Regulations set out the requirements for preparedness of representatives from state authorities and other institutions, scrap metal yards, to detect or to find the contaminated metal scrap and orphan sources. Those requirements are in line with the requirements of COUNCIL DIRECTIVE 2003/122/EURATOM of 22 December 2003 on the control of high-activity sealed radioactive sources and orphan sources. (in Lithuanian)

2. Order of the Minister of Economy On the Change of Order of Precurement, Accounting and Storage of the Base Metal Scrap and Waste. The document sets out the order for procurement, accounting and storage of the base metal scrap, as well as the requirements for equipping the procurement places (including the requirements for provision of equipment for radioactive contamination). (in Lithuanian)

3. Order of the Director of Radiation Protection Centre on Procedures to Control Radioactive Contamination of Metal Scrap, Waste and Metal Products in Scrap Yards and Reprocessing Plants Waste. This document sets out the main measures that shall be taken in order to avoid radioactive contamination in scrap reprocessing plants. It also sets the requirements on how to control the radioactive contamination during reprocessing of metal scrap and generated radioactive waste. This order is applicable to enterprises, which are involved in procurements and reprocessing of metal scrap. The document also provides instructions on how to assess whether the metal scrap and metal products are contaminated with radioactive substances or not . (in Lithuanian)

4. Lithuanian Norm LAND 34-2000 on Clearance Levels of Radionuclides. Conditions for Reuse of materials and Disposal of Waste. The purpose of this normative document is to establish criteria when materials contaminated with radionuclides or containing radionuclides, and other sources of ionizing radiation may be used or disposed of without any application of requirements of radiation protection, and to determine levels of deactivation of surfaces of equipment, machines, installations and buildings in order to use them without any restrictions. The requirements of this Normative document are applied to substances, equipment, machines, installations, buildings, solid waste and spent oils, which are produced during operation or decommissioning of nuclear installations and installations for processing of radioactive waste, or when radioactive substances are used in industry, medicine, research, etc. (in Lithuanian)

5. Governmental Resolution: Regulations on Handling of Illegal Sources of Ionizing Radiation and Contaminated Facilities. This Resolution establishes r esponsibilities, actions and functions of state and local authorities in case of detection of illegal and orphan sources, radioactive materials and facilities contaminated with radionuclides, which presence in the Republic of Lithuania is not regulated by legal acts.  (in Lithuanian)

The attached presentation demonstrates the procedures applied to test imported scrap metal for radioactivity in Madagascar

A summary of the notifications relating to radioactive substances and radiation in 2006 and 2007 received by the Netherlands’ Inspectorate for Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment, South-West Unit (in English)
Draft - Notifications relating to radioactive substances and radiation in 2003, 2004 and 2005 (in English)
Draft report - Metering is a must II! Enforcement of the Nuclear Energy Act at scrap processing companies in 2004 and 2005 (in English)

Summary of Sweden's joint liability insurance scheme

Overview of situation with radioactive scrap metal (in German with summary in English)

This comprehensive report provides guidance to the UK nuclear industry, covering principles, processes and practices to support the industry in determining whether material can be safely released.

This document describes the UK approach to support the metal industry in dealing with radioactive scrap metal.

New multi-million pound Metal Recycling Facility to be built in the UK.

A website providing information on how radioactive waste is managed in the UK.

Regulation for the recovery and handling of orphan radioactive sources (taken from the website:


© United Nations Economic Commissions for Europe – 2013