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2.5.2 Assessment of reuse options for radioactively contaminated land

Considering the assessment of options for the remediation of radioactively contaminated sites and/or groundwater, a set of potentially relevant assessment endpoints may include: radionuclide contamination levels, risks to the health of biota, radionuclide intakes of people and the individual risks, collective doses and a number of health effects associated with those intakes, all as a function of time and space during and after the implementation of the management option [CIRIA-2005a]. It may be sufficient to assess a subset of these assessment endpoints, depending on the nature of the contamination, the land concerned and the options under consideration and on how the results of the assessment are to be used in characterising options on their attributes.

The time frame for the assessment will depend on the management option and on the radionuclides involved. It is unlikely to be shorter than a hundred years, because of the radioactive half-lives of most of the radionuclides of concern on nuclear and defence sites. It is also unlikely to be as long as thousands of years, because in most cases none of the management options being compared will leave land in a contaminated state for thousands of years or more.