Index > 3 Characterisation of radioactively contaminated sites >

3.1 Introduction

Information about possible radioactive contaminants and origin are presented here and includes as well as nuclide specific information for soil as for groundwater, so that it is clear that radioactive contaminants are common and levels vary. As soon as such a level has been determined and superseding a regulatory action level 1, actions have to be performed to characterize the radiological contamination.

Before the main steps in the radiological characterization process of sites and/or groundwaters are presented, key-terms applied in EURSSEM are introduced and defined. As mentioned before, EURSSEM incorporates information of the IAEA, the SAFEGROUNDS Learning Network and MARSSIM. Some of these terms may be or may be not familiar to the user 2.

Now the Radiation Survey and Site and/or Groundwater Investigation Process can be described. In Section 2 of EURSSEM, this process (e.g., planning) has been described at a high generic level, while in this section the guidance is in more detail at an operation level. In addition, changes to the overall survey design that account for site-specific differences would be presented as part of the survey plan. This plan should also demonstrate that the extrapolation from measurements performed at specific locations to the entire site or survey unit is performed in a technically defensible manner. It is obvious that the detailed performance-based guidance should not be uniformly applied at every site with a radioactive contamination. Therefore, this guidance contains the flexibility for users to develop a site-specific survey design to account for site-specific characteristics. Users should adopt, in agreement with stakeholders, those portions of EURSSEM that apply to their site.

To be able to understand the guidelines of the presented approach, first the definitions of the adopted key terms are presented.

1 Action levels are in general nuclide specific and defined by the government.

2 The authors of EURSSEM have been avoiding the use of new terms. However, in the case that it is unavoidable, preference will be given to terms defined by the IAEA.