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RECOMMENDATIONS ON MONITORING AND RESPONSE PROCEDURES FOR RADIOACTIVE SCRAP METAL

I. GENERAL PROVISIONS

A.    Definitions

       This section contains the key definitions used in the Recommendations.

B.    Objectives

       The objectives of the Recommendations are to support States in developing their own national systems of monitoring and response related to radioactive scrap metal and to encourage further cooperation, coordination and harmonization at the international level, thereby creating global confidence in the reliability, effectiveness and quality of monitoring and response.

C.    Scope

       The Recommendations cover all metals used and traded nationally and internationally as part of the metal recycling industry. They are addressed to all parties concerned with the metal recycling industry, including demolition companies, scrap collectors, sellers of scrap metal, owners of scrap yards, owners of scrap metal processing facilities, buyers and traders in scrap metals, temporary storage companies, owners of metal works, the transporters of scrap metal, the departments of Government responsible for the control of incoming and outgoing shipments of scrap metal, e.g. Customs or border authorities, and the Governmental bodies responsible for safety, health and the environment in the context of radioactive material usage and transport. They address the prevention of the occurrence of radioactive scrap metal which may or may not have been under regulatory control, its detection and the prevention of associated radiological consequences through response actions, including the subsequent management of the material and of any radioactive waste produced.

D.    Guidance and international legal instruments

       This section briefly describes 2 national actions, a handful of industry initiatives (which are all voluntary) and also refers to relevant international legal instruments and standards such as the Basel Convention, the Joint Convention on the Safety of Spent Fuel Management and on the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management (the “Joint Convention”), the Code of Conduct on the Safety and Security of Radioactive Sources and the Directive of the Council of the European Union (EU) on the control of high activity sealed radioactive sources and orphan sources.

E.    Origins of radioactive scrap metal

       This section highlights the different sources of radioactive scrap metal.

F.    Recommendations on responsibilities and coordination

       This section lists the different actors at the national and international levels that have responsibilities concerning radioactive scrap metal. It also provides guidance on coordination at the national and international levels and highlights issues of costs and financing.

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II. FIELDS OF ACTION

       This is the central part of the document containing three broad topics: Recommendations on prevention, recommendations on detection and recommendations on response procedures. Each set of recommendations is addressed to the specific relevant stakeholder, eg: regulatory body, Customs, manager of a scrap yard etc.

A.    Recommendations on prevention

       This section suggests recommendations to prevent the occurrence of events leading to radiation hazards to workers, the public and the environment, and it also suggests way for States to be prepared.

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B.    Recommendations on detection

       This section identifies the general aspects for monitoring scrap metal in order to detect its levels of radioactivity. It looks specifically at administrative, visual and radiation monitoring (at the point of origin, at borders and at scrap yards, processing facilities and melting plants).

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C.    Recommendations on response

       This section highlights the essential elements of a response plan. It includes response to an alarm, management of detected radioactive material, reporting (at national and international levels).

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III. ADDITIONAL PROVISIONS

       Additional provisions in the Recommendations focus specifically on training and information exchange, both at the national and international levels.

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ANNEXES

       The five annexes to the Recommendations provide examples of existing best practices in different countries or at the international level. Some of the examples are based on current practice but are adapted to reflect the specific gap.

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© United Nations Economic Commissions for Europe – 2013