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1.4 Structure of the manual

EURSSEM begins with the “Development of a contaminated land strategy” in Section 2 and focuses on the strategy to be applied, e.g., describing the two major topics, e.g., stakeholder involvement in this process and the requirements/set up of an archive for future referencing, in detail, as these two topics are linked to all actions in this process. Presented guidelines, the formulation of the necessary plans at a generic level, e.g., dose or risk assessments, health physics plan, waste management plan, etc., are dealing with soil as well as with groundwater.

In Section 3, the focus is on the radiological characterization of a site and on the processes involved in how actually doing this, e.g., measuring site and/or groundwater contaminant concentration levels, how to decide if data obtained meet the remediation or release criterion within an acceptable degree of uncertainty, etc.

Remediation and post-remediation activities (restoration) guidelines are presented in Section 4. These guidelines are focusing on the development of a remediation plan that can be accomplished safely, but also on the selection of applicable remediation techniques as well as on implementing remediation and post-remediation (restoration) actions.

Section 5 provides information and guidelines on “Reuse and Stewardship”. It is evident that not all radiological contaminated sites and/or groundwaters can be cleaned and released for unrestricted use in an acceptable time scale. Sometimes this is also not needed, like for industrial areas. Therefore, guidelines are set-up for deciding and the implementation of short-term or long-term stewardship.

In each section, flowcharts will summarize the steps and decisions taken in the process, if needed. EURSSEM also contains several appendices to provide additional guidance on specific topics:

  • Appendix A: Contaminants detected at radioactive contaminated sites worldwide: Radioactive and Hazardous.
  • Appendix B: Development of a decision rule and specification of the limits on decision errors.
  • Appendix C: Field survey and laboratory analysis equipment for radioactive material concentrations and radiation levels.
  • Appendix D: Derivation of the alpha scanning detection limit calculations.
  • Appendix E: Supporting information for interpreting survey results and tables of statistical data.
  • Appendix F: Glossary of specific terms for interpreting survey resulst and tables of statistical data.
  • Appendix G: References.
  • Appendix H: Examples of report formats, checklists and files.
  • Appendix I: Contributors to drafting, editing, review and to the development and maintenance of the website of EURSSEM.

EURSSEM is presented in a modular format, with each module containing guidance on conducting specific aspects of, or activities related to, the process. Followed in the related order, each module leads to the generation and implementation of a complete plan. Although this approach may involve some overlap and redundancy in information, it will also allow many users to concentrate only on those portions of the manual that apply to their particular needs or responsibilities. The procedures within each module are listed in order of performance and options are provided to guide a user past portions of the manual that may not be specifically applicable to the user’s area of interest. Where appropriate, checklists condense and summarize major points in the process. The checklists may be used to verify that every suggested step is followed or to flag a condition in which specific documentation should explain why a step was not needed.

EURSSEM, which is based on a graded approach that many users of radioactive materials may be able to employ – with the approval of the responsible regulatory agency – to demonstrate compliance with the release criterion. Sites that may qualify for simplified release procedures are those in which the radioactive materials used were:

  1. of relatively short half-life (e.g., t1/2 # 120 days) and have since decayed to insignificant quantities;
  2. kept only in small enough quantities so as to be exempted or not requiring a specific license from a regulatory authority;
  3. used or stored only in the form of non-leaking sealed sources; or
  4. combinations of the above.

EURSSEM supports existing programs and approaches to expedite site clean-ups and the integrating of EURSSEM with other remediation and survey site designs. These approaches can save time and resources by reducing sampling, preventing duplication of effort, and reducing inactive time periods between steps in a clean-up process. EURSSEM is based on six principal steps; although these steps are described sequentially, EURSSEM is not intended to be a serial process that would slow site clean-ups. Part of the significant emphasis on planning in EURSSEM is meant to promote saving time and resources. Where appropriate, EURSSEM will provide information about these alternate programs and approaches.