Index > 2 Development of a strategy, implementation and execution program to remediate radioactively contaminated sites >

2.12.1 Introduction

During the life cycle of an active industrial site the site owners/operator should prepare comprehensive records of the nature of the industrial process and of important events. In the case of a nuclear facility or a facility that deals with radioactive material (e.g., NORM and TENORM, uranium mining and milling or other ores), important events are dates at which licenses have been granted based on the national nuclear law or updates of these licenses, changes in industrial activities, receiving of radioactive materials, transporting of nuclear materials to third parties or to radioactive waste or chemical waste storage facilities, accidents, etc.

At the end of the life cycle, the site should be remediated for unrestricted or restricted re-use. Again, site owners/operator should prepare comprehensive records of the nature and extent of radioactive contaminations present before an environmental remediation, the process of deciding how to manage the contaminated site, implementing the chosen remediation strategy, validation, and interactions with stakeholders throughout the process, as well as of any lessons learned, changes made during the implementation and a detailed overview of remaining radioactive contaminations and/or hazardous materials including the eventual risk for the public and the environment.

All of these records should be ‘in principle’ available and easy accessable at the end of the remediation process or at the beginning of an eventual stewardship. Depending on the type of industry and the duration of its active live time, the amount of records can be overwhelming and can be stored at different media (see Section 2.11.3.6).
However, the following questions arise:

  • For how long should records be kept available?
  • Must all records be kept available for the same time period? If no,
  • Which records for which time period?
  • Must all records to be stored at one place? If no,
  • Must from all records be a copy available? If no,
  • Which records have to be copied for back-up?
  • And where must the back-up(s) to be stored?

It is evident that some records are more important to others, as example a nuclear license is more important than the record of one of the many sample analyses made during the active period of the industrial activity at the site.