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2.9.1 Waste management

Contents Sources of waste Waste minimisation

The development of a waste management plan for non-radioactive waste on a construction sites is good practice, and on nuclear-licensed sites it is recommended. This plan should be integrated with radioactive waste management plans.

Further the management and transport of non-radioactive as well as of radioactive waste are subject to international and national regulations. It is therefore advised to contact the appropriate national agencies dealing with these topics, so that the plans are in compliance with the regulations. Sources of waste

It is likely that both solid and liquid non-radioactive wastes as of radioactive wastes will be produced from the site investigation and remediation process.Typical solid wastes include:

  • Solid wastes from initial site clearance activities, such as vegetation (which may need to be removed to allow adequate access to the site) and surface wastes (such as metallic items, which may interfere with geophysical surveys);
  • Spoil that cannot be backfilled into boreholes or trial pits;
  • Used personal protective equipment and used respiratory protective equipment;
  • Disposable items used during sample collection, preparation and packaging;
  • Waste from the site accommodation and hygiene facilities;
  • Residues from samples sent for laboratory analysis.

Typical liquid wastes include:

  • Water/liquids produced from wash-down facilities (i.e., water used for cleaning and decontaminating of site and sampling equipment);
  • Water/liquids produced from operations in the hygiene and change facilities;
  • Water/liquids produced from abstraction of groundwater from trial pits, trenches and boreholes on the site;
  • Residues from samples sent for laboratory analysis. Waste minimisation

In most countries in licenses requirements are set that licensees have to minimise the production of wastes and especially of hazardous and radioactive wastes.

Consequently, subject to achieving the objectives of the site remediation project, there may be a requirement to use intrusive techniques that minimise waste production, where their use will not compromise the objectives of the site remediation project.

If the remediation programme is dealing with a defense site, special regulations can be applicable. This has to be verified. However, on both categories of site it is good practice to consider options for minimising the generation of waste. It will also be necessary on all sites to segregate wastes into various waste streams defined by radioactivity so that they can be managed correctly. It may be appropriate (or a requirement specified by the client) to appoint a member of the project team with responsibility for minimising and segregating radioactive wastes. On some sites, this role is referred to as the waste minimisation officer.