Draft report: Radiological Protection in Areas Contaminated by Past Activities


This publication addresses the protection of workers, the public, and the environment in contaminated areas where radioactivity is present because of past activities, excluding exposures in the post-accidental phase after a nuclear emergency. In the ICRP system of radiological protection, exposures associated with these contaminated areas are managed in the framework of existing exposure situations. Making radiological protection decisions concerning the management of worker-health, public-health, and environmental risks arising from contaminated areas can be challenging. Sites contaminated with radioactivity will often contain other physical, chemical, or biological hazards that will need to be considered. The implementation of a remediation strategy can itself result in additional risks for remediation workers or the environment that should be considered and addressed. Therefore, an integrated and all-hazards approach to protection is required to simultaneously manage and balance worker, public, and environmental risks. The Commission recommends that its system for radiological protection should be applied to the management of contaminated areas as one element of a broad approach to identifying how to maximise the overall well-being of directly and indirectly affected stakeholders and the environment. Specific attention should be drawn to the production and management of waste arising from the implementation of the selected remediation strategy. Early, broad, and ongoing stakeholders involvement is central to designing and implementing a sustainable remediation strategy. The Commission recommends a graded approach be applied: the level of effort to address the situation should be commensurate with the level of risk that remediation workers, members of the public, and the environment are exposed to. In most cases, remediation workers will likely be considered and managed as occupationally exposed workers.

ICRP routinely solicits comments on most draft documents prior to publication, with the exception of those that are basically compilations of computed values such as specific absorbed fraction values or dose conversion factors.

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Draft Document