Anomalies in Proposed Regulations for the Release of Redundant Material from Nuclear and Non-nuclear Industries

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Now that increasing numbers of nuclear power stations are reaching the end of their commercially useful lives, the management of the large quantities of very low level radioactive material that arises during their decommissioning has become a major subject of discussion, with very significant economic implications. Much of this material can, in an environmentally advantageous manner, be recycled for reuse without radiological restrictions. Much larger quantities--2-3 orders of magnitude larger--of material, radiologically similar to the candidate material for recycling from the nuclear industry, arise in non-nuclear industries like coal, fertilizer, oil and gas, mining, etc. In such industries, naturally occurring ... continued below

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12 pages

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Menon, S. February 26, 2002.

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Now that increasing numbers of nuclear power stations are reaching the end of their commercially useful lives, the management of the large quantities of very low level radioactive material that arises during their decommissioning has become a major subject of discussion, with very significant economic implications. Much of this material can, in an environmentally advantageous manner, be recycled for reuse without radiological restrictions. Much larger quantities--2-3 orders of magnitude larger--of material, radiologically similar to the candidate material for recycling from the nuclear industry, arise in non-nuclear industries like coal, fertilizer, oil and gas, mining, etc. In such industries, naturally occurring radioactivity is artificially concentrated in products, by-products or waste to form TENORM (Technologically Enhanced Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material). It is only in the last decade that the international community has become aware of the prevalence of T ENORM, specially the activity levels and quantities arising in so many nonnuclear industries. The first reaction of international organizations seems to have been to propose ''double'' standards for the nuclear and non-nuclear industries, with very stringent release criteria for radioactive material from the regulated nuclear industry and up to a hundred times more liberal criteria for the release/exemption of TENORM from the as yet unregulated non-nuclear industries. There are, however, many significant strategic issues that need to be discussed and resolved. An interesting development, for both the nuclear and non-nuclear industries, is the increased scientific scrutiny that the populations of naturally high background dose level areas of the world are being subject to. Preliminary biological studies have indicated that the inhabitants of such areas, exposed to many times the permitted occupational doses for nuclear workers, have not shown any differences in cancer mortality, life expectancy, chromosome aberrations or immune function, in comparison with those living in normal background areas. The paper discusses these and other strategic issues regarding the management of nuclear and non-nuclear radioactive material, underlining the need for consistency in regulatory treatment.

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12 pages

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  • Waste Management 2002 Symposium, Tucson, AZ (US), 02/24/2002--02/28/2002

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  • Report No.: none
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 828445
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc779601

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

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  • February 26, 2002

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Dec. 3, 2015, 9:30 a.m.

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  • April 27, 2016, 1:19 p.m.

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Menon, S. Anomalies in Proposed Regulations for the Release of Redundant Material from Nuclear and Non-nuclear Industries, article, February 26, 2002; Tucson, Arizona. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc779601/: accessed October 19, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.