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Technical Tools


This page presents a selection of existing methodologies on defining for instance clearance levels, or on measuring tools, or on approaches to radioactive waste.

>> International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)

Control of Orphan Sources and Other Radioactive Material in the Metal Recycling and Production Industries (2012)

The IAEA safety standards establish fundamental safety principles, requirements and measures to control the radiation exposure of people and the release of radioactive material to the environment, to restrict the likelihood of events that might lead to a loss of control over a nuclear reactor core, nuclear chain reaction, radioactive source or any other source of radiation, and to mitigate the consequences of such events if they were to occur.

The principal users of safety standards in IAEA Member States are regulatory bodies and other relevant national authorities. The IAEA safety standards are also used by co-sponsoring organizations and by many organizations that design, construct and operate nuclear facilities, as well as organizations involved in the use of radiation and radioactive sources.

Clearance Levels for radionuclides in Solid Materials: Application of Exemption Principles (1996)

The report aims to provide a set of nuclide specific clearance levels for solid materials irrespective of use (“unconditional clearance levels”).

Reducing Risks in the Scrap Metal Industry (2005)

Short leaflet providing a brief overview of necessary intervention actions to prevent harm from radioactive scrap metal.

Application of the Concepts of Exclusion, Exemption and Clearance (2004)

The objective of this Safety Guide is to provide guidance to national authorities, including regulatory bodies, and operating organizations on the application of the concepts of exclusion, exemption and clearance as established in the Basic Safety Standards (BSS). The Safety Guide includes specific values of activity concentration for both radionuclides of natural origin and those of artificial origin that may be used for bulk amounts of material for the purpose of applying exclusion or exemption. It also elaborates on the possible application of these values to clearance.

Basic Safety Standards for Protection against Ionizing Radiation and for the Safety of Radiation Sources (1996) (FAO, IAEA, ILO, OECD NEA, PAHO, WHO)

The Standards have been developed from widely accepted radiation protection and safety principles. They are intended to ensure the safety of all types of radiation sources and complement standards already developed for large and complex radiation sources, such as nuclear reactors and radioactive waste manage ment facilities. The Standards are limited to specifying basic requirements of radiation protection and safety, with some guidance on how to apply them.

Prevention of the inadvertent movement and illicit trafficking of radioactive materials (2002) IAEA, WCO, EUROPOL and INTERPOL

This publication outlines the supporting infrastructure concerned with the control of radioactive materials of all types, including radioactive sources, radioactive wastes and nuclear materials, in order to prevent them being involved in inadvertent movement or illicit trafficking. In particular, it explains the contribution that may be made by customs, police and other law enforcement bodies towards solving this problem.

Methods to Identify and Locate Spent Radiation Sources (1995)

The purpose of this publication is to provide guidance on the task of locating spent sealed radiation sources of various types in situations where records of inventory of sources were not adequately maintained, or have been lost in the course of time. A "spent radiation source" means a source which is no longer in use and for which no further use is foreseen.

Detection of radioactive materials at borders (2002) IAEA, WCO, EUROPOL and INTERPOL

The purpose of this publication is to provide guidance for Member States for use by customs, police or other law enforcement bodies on the radiation monitoring of vehicles, people and commodities at border crossing facilities as a countermeasure to illicit trafficking and also to find inadvertent movement of radioactive materials. This report covers the issue of detecting radioactive materials that may be being illicitly trafficked or inadvertently moved. It applies not only to international land borders, but also to maritime ports, airports, and similar locations where goods or individuals may enter or leave a State.

Response to events involving the inadvertent movement or illicit trafficking of radioactive materials (2002) IAEA, WCO, EUROPOL and INTERPOL

This document considers the response procedures required for the majority of incidents of inadvertent movement or illicit trafficking of radioactive materials. The prime objective is to provide Member States with practical information for use by emergency response and law enforcement personnel involved in dealing with incidents of inadvertent movement or illicit trafficking of radioactive materials. This information is aimed primarily at police, customs and other law enforcement officers who may become involved in incidents concerning inadvertent movement or illicit trafficking of radioactive materials.

Guidance on the Import and Export of Radioactive Sources (2004)

This companion guide to the Code of Conduct (2003) provides additional advice to support the import and export provisions of the Code.

>> Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)

Nuclear De-commissioning – Recycling and re-use of scrap metal: A report by a task group of the Cooperative programme on decommissioning (1996)

The task group concluded that recycling and reusing materials from decommissioning nuclear facilities is practicable and cost-effective. The Task group proposed a tiered system of release criteria to facilitate discussion of appropriate conditional international release criteria.

The de-commissioning and dismantling (D&D) of nuclear facilities: Status, Approaches and Challenges (2002)

This report summarises the status of D&D in OECD/NEA Member countries, the approaches currently adopted, and the general challenges to be faced. It describes the liabilities remaining from early nuclear developments and arising from current nuclear power programmes and the work that must be done before D&D activities peak after about 2015.

>> European Union (EU)

Nuclear safety and the environment: Schemes to finance radioactive waste storage and disposal (by UK Nirex Ltd. For the EU) (1999)

Based on the information collected from 10 Member States of the EU, the USA and Canada; it focuses on the application of the "polluter pays" principle to the management of radioactive waste from all producers, large and small. Schemes in the non-nuclear sectors have also been analysed where there are financial analogies with the nuclear sector. The schemes are analysed against three criteria: financeability, fairness and efficiency.

“Handbook on Measurement Methods and Strategies for Low levels and Activities” (1998, PH Burgess)

(i) reviews the capabilities and limitations of various types of monitoring equipment and practicable applicable methods, which can be used to demonstrate compliance with standards set for release of material, (ii) provides generic cost considerations, and (iii) gives examples of the methods and instrumentation which have been employed and which look attractive for future work.

European ALARA Network: Incidents and Lessons Learnt

A series of case studies involving incidents with radioactive scrap metal and lessons learnt from these incidents.

>> Basel Convention

Technical Guidelines on the Environmentally Sound Management of Biomedical and Healthcare Wastes (2003)

These guidelines include technical advice on radioactive waste specific to the medical sector. They describe the manner in which to move towards state-of-the-art management of biomedical and health-care wastes while at the same time identifying other kinds of suitable possibilities. The major points of these guidelines are the practical aspects of waste management pertaining to the handling and environmentally sound management of biomedical and health-care wastes.