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2.7 Site characterisation plan

Site characterisation is needed to provide sufficient data to take early strategic decisions on the likely environmental remediation activities [IAEA-1999]. An environmental baseline and a profile of the contamination should consider the following aspects:

  • Characteristics, distribution, and extent of radioactive constituents or contamination sources, as well as the potential for future releases of constituents;
  • Risks associated with exposure of humans and the environment to the radioactive constituents, and
  • Where appropriate, transport of radioactive constituents in groundwater and hydraulically-connected surface water, as well as any other pathways which may lead to exposure of workers and the population.

The source characterisation should include both waste characterisation and facility or site characterisation, and should provide reliable estimates of the release rates of radioactive constituents as well as constituent distribution. For rural zones, the transport of the constituents from the soil into the vegetation should also be measured or estimated.