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IAEA International Atomic Energy Agency The International Working Forum on Regulatory Supervision of Legacy Sites (RSLS) 8 – 12 October 2012 Vienna, AUSTRIA.

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Presentation on theme: "IAEA International Atomic Energy Agency The International Working Forum on Regulatory Supervision of Legacy Sites (RSLS) 8 – 12 October 2012 Vienna, AUSTRIA."— Presentation transcript:

1 IAEA International Atomic Energy Agency The International Working Forum on Regulatory Supervision of Legacy Sites (RSLS) 8 – 12 October 2012 Vienna, AUSTRIA Training Material on Radiation Protection during the Uranium Production Life Cycle MSC Guy NSRW-WES

2 IAEA Overview Historical background Technical Co-operation and training Regulators issues in developing countries Developing updated training material

3 IAEA 3 Exploration Handover & Surveillance Decommissioning Construction and Operation Regulation Timelines: Facility Lifespan Impact of waste Waste Mmgt. Plan Planning Eng. Options Site, Des. & Const. Monitoring: Pre-op Decom. Closure & Controls Monitoring Ops Quality Assurance Health and Safety Monitoring & Surveillance

4 IAEA Focus Regulators in developing Member States with: Uranium exploration and development activities Lack of experience and knowledge in the regulation of the uranium mine lifecycle Lack of human and technical resources

5 IAEA Historical Background Uranium spot prices exploded in the early 2000s peaking in 2007. As a result uranium exploration and mining activities have escalated significantly over the past ten years in many Member States (MS) of the IAEA. Many thousands of small exploration companies were involved in many countries. In a number of countries new mines were opened. Regulators in less developed MS have problems in responding to these activities In addition many of the less developed MS are struggling with legacy issues from the 1940-1990 period of uranium exploitation (e.g. Central Asia).

6 IAEA Regulatory Issues In many countries there was no previous history of exploration or production. Many of these MS lack the institutional knowledge, expertise and technical infrastructure to adequately regulate uranium mining operations. Poor regulatory oversight can lead to future legacy issues. Greater public awareness of uranium exploration and development issues in the last 10 years. 6

7 IAEA Regulatory Issues Lack of mining legislation. Lack of regulations to address radiological issues for NORM operations including uranium mines. Lack of regulatory oversight. Widespread exploration activities and public issues arising from this. Lack of oversight at the planning stage of new operations. Legacy issues in countries where uranium was produced in the past. 7

8 IAEA Issues in Developing Countries Remediation of legacy sites Lack of funds and technical expertise to ensure oversight of remediation projects Stakeholder issues have increased in importance Public opposition to exploration Many regulators experience difficulty in handling the stakeholder issues 8

9 IAEA Technical Cooperation Projects Upgrading regulatory infrastructure in the area of uranium mining and milling: National projects (e.g. Mozambique MOZ3002 Establishing National Capabilities for the Management and Regulation of Mining Activities for Radioactive Minerals) Regional Projects e.g. RAF 3007 Strengthening Regional Capabilities for Uranium Mining, Milling and Regulation of Related Activities Workshops and training courses (short missions e.g. 3-5 days) Scientific visits and fellowships

10 IAEA Technical Cooperation Various national and regional Technical Cooperation (TC) projects have been initiated since 2007 to upgrade regulatory knowledge and infrastructure in the area of uranium mining and processing in developing MS, particularly in Africa. The training materials used in previous courses were developed in an ad hoc manner from a variety of sources, since the late 1990s. In the past, two areas of particular concern to regulators were either overlooked or treated superficially in these course; these were: Radiation safety aspects of exploration, planning and development of uranium mines. Siting and design of uranium tailings facilities. Both of these areas have important implications in terms of preventing future legacy issues.

11 IAEA Past Training Material One week course on the management of wastes from mining and milling of uranium and thorium ores NORM course (development commenced in 2007) Oil and gas course (published) Expert presentations from specific missions 11

12 IAEA Development of Revised Training Material Various developing MS (e.g. from Africa) had raised the issue of the needs of the less experienced uranium mine regulators at the General Conference since the mid 2000s. Although training material was developed in the past (~2002) it was limited in scope, compiled in an ad-hoc manner and the material required revision Did not focus on key needs of newcomer regulators. 12

13 IAEA Development of Revised Training Material Focus on radiation safety issues Focus on regulatory issues Also provides background information on uranium mining and processing Introductory course to address basic needs Covers all types of uranium mining operations 13

14 IAEA Development of Revised Training Material Identified need for training focused on exploration, planning and development and siting and design of tailings to prevent future legacy issues. Extra budgetary funds were sought successfully from the USA to develop materials to address these areas. Material will be presented in one week courses Approximately 40 topic areas under development 14

15 IAEA Sources of Information A range of Agency publications specific to uranium mining and radiation safety aspects (Safety Guides, Safety Reports, TECDOCS and Technical Reports: approximately 25 publications of relevance to the uranium mining lifecycle) Training material developed in the early 2000s by the IAEA IAEA experts and consultants presentations from the past 10 years Open literature Feedback from regulators in developing countries over the past ten years Consultants meetings

16 IAEA Focus of the Training Materials Comprises three modules on: Background material on ionizing radiation, radiation protection, natural radionuclides and background radiation uranium mining operations, IAEA publications and guidance; Radiation Safety Aspects of uranium mine exploration, planning, development and operation; Radiation Safety Aspects of Siting and Design of uranium tailings facilities.

17 IAEA Focus of the Training Materials Radiation safety in exploration, development and operation Siting and design of tailings impoundments The course materials are also focussed on: What the operator must provide to the regulator. What radiation safety aspects require to be addressed What must be approved by the regulator. Hold points in the licensing process Lessons for the regulator Key regulatory issues and focus Checklists for the regulators

18 IAEA Recent Activities IAEA Workshop on Radiation Safety Aspects of Uranium Exploration and Mine Development for Regulators from Newcomer Countries (August 2012) Purpose of the workshop: Obtain feedback from regulators on the draft training material Identify regulatory issues Identify areas where additional materials require to be developed 51 Member States were invited and 20 states provided nominations Algeria, Iran, Argentina, China, Botswana, Brazil, India, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia,South Africa, Zambia, USA.,,

19 IAEA Issues Raised in the Workshop Numerous issues were raised by the participants including: Regulation of uranium mining operations is complex and demanding on the regulator(s) dealing with radiation issues. Lack of skilled and experienced staff Lack of basic equipment Lack of knowledge on how to use the equipment Lack of cooperative governance Lack of operator awareness of radiation protection issues

20 IAEA Issues Raised in the Workshop Lack of regulator awareness of the mining industry The need for an IAEA training course on instrumentation, measurements and surveys related to the uranium mine lifecycle Lack of awareness of IAEA guidance and the application of the following concepts to the regulation of uranium mining and other NORM operations: The graded approach to regulation The concepts of exclusion, exemption and clearance Planned versus existing exposure situations Dose constraints, public dose limits, reference and action levels

21 IAEA Other Issues Translations of training materials Wide range of abilities and technical backgrounds in terms of participants from regulators Regulators often have specific needs Limitations on what can be achieved in one week Flexibility is required in the topic areas to address specific regulator needs Focus on key aspects and issues presented in a simple manner (backed up by more comprehensive notes)

22 IAEA Future Plans and Work Use the revised training materials in national TC projects in order to obtain additional feedback. Depending on the availability of funds hold regional workshops for regulators e.g. Asia, Africa and South America Seek funds to develop materials on uranium mine decommissioning, closure and remediation

23 IAEA 23 Thank You

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