EURSSEM Manual

The Environmental Radiation Survey and Site Execution Manual (EURSSEM) provides information and guidance on strategy, planning, stakeholder involvement, conducting, evaluating and documenting radiological environmental and facility (surface) surveys based on best practices for demonstrating compliance with dose or risk-based regulations or standards, remediation, reuse, short-term and long-term stewardship on radioactively contaminated and potentially radioactively contaminated sites and/or groundwater. Chief editors are Leo van Velzen (Netherlands) and Lucien Teunckens (Switzerland).

Chapters

1 Introduction to EURSSEM

This section of the “Environmental Radiation Survey and Site Execution Manual” – EURSSEM1 – deals with the background and drivers to establish this guidance, the purpose and scope of EURSSEM and the approach for developing of a consistent approach and guidance to conduct all actions at radioactively contaminated and potentially radioactively contaminated sites and/or groundwater up to their release for restricted or unrestricted (re)use.

1 The acronym “EURSSEM” was first standing for the abbreviation “European Radiation Survey and Site Execution Manual”. The term “European” was taken into account to acknowledge the European Commission for their support to develop the first version of this manual. However, contributing to the IAEA Network ENVIRONET, institutes, organizations, persons, etc. outside Europe showed also a great interest in the content of EURSSEM and in the applicability for their Environmental Remediation Projects. Therefore it was decided to keep the acronym “EURSSEM”, but change the full name of the document into “Environmental Radiation Survey and Site Execution Manual (January 2010)".

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

The development of a strategy, implementation and execution of a programme to remediate radioactively contaminated sites needs a sound knowledge of the necessary plans and topics involved in each of these plans.
The plans, that are dealt with in this section, are in the order, which are according to the authors and editors the best way to develop these plans. It is evident that each environmental remediation program is unique and the executers of this program have to decide by themselves if this order suits their program. Further, each plan is worked out in EURSSEM in a large detail and also now the executers have to decide by themselves if they should develop their plans up to the same detail.

3 Characterisation of radioactively contaminated sites

This section of EURSSEM provides detailed guidance on the characterisation of radioactively contaminated sites and/or groundwater and is intended for a technical as well as a non-technical audience.

However, some fundamental knowledge of radioactivity and experiences with radioactivity and health physics is recommended. Basic concepts may be found on the internet on such sites as www.iaea.org, www.safegrounds.com, or www.health-physics.com

4 Environmental remediation of radioactively contaminated sites

This section of EURSSEM provides detailed guidance on the design of environmental remediation plans, approaches, and an overview of remediation techniques applicable for radioactively contaminated sites and/or groundwater.

5 Stewardship

An introduction to stewardship is presented in Section 2.10. The aim of Section 5 is to present more detailed guidance on stewardship: e.g., when to implement, what plans/actions should be carried out, etc.

As depending on the site characteristics after remediation, the degree, extent and duration of control, if any, should be established. The organisation responsible, e.g. long term stewardship, of the surveillance and verification of activities should be clearly identified.

Appendixes

Appendix A contains information about detected radiological contaminates (worldwide) and in the presence of hazardous contaminants and visa versa. The presented overviews are extracted out of free available literature.

In Appendix B guidance is presented on “Development of a decision rule and specification of the limits on decision errors”. The purpose of this step is to define the parameter of interest, specify the action level (or DCGL), and integrate previous DQO outputs into a single statement that describes a logical basis for choosing among alternative actions.

Appendix C provides information on various field and laboratory equipment used to measure radiation levels and radioactive material concentrations. The descriptions provide general guidance, and those interested in more details of the various instruments or purchasing or using the equipment are encouraged to contact vendors and users of the equipment for specific information and recommendations. Although most of this equipment is in common use, a few specialty items are included to demonstrate promising developments.

Appendix D deals with the derivation of the alpha scanning detection limit calculations and includes a number of helpfull charts.

Appendix E provides supporting information for interpreting survey results. The supporting information deals with how to apply statistics according to “Sign Test” and “Wilcoxon Rank Sum Test” as well guidance how to interpret characterization results for radioactive contaminations caused by a single and multi-radionuclides.

Appendix F contains the glossary of applied terms, symbols, etc. in EURSSEM. The glossary is a combination of the glossary provided by the IAEA, MARSSIM and CIRIA as well as of terms applied in used references.

Appendix G contains the list of references applied in EURSSEM.

Appendix H gives examples of report formats, checklists, files, etc.

Appendix I gives an overview of contributers to drafting, editing, review and website of EURSSEM over time.