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Ionising radiation

Environmental Radioactivity - Medicine - Occupational Radiation Protection - Nuclear Hazards Defence

Ionisierende Strahlung

Recommendations and Directive

  • The German Commission on Radiological Protection (SSK) issued first science-based recommendations concerning the consequences of uranium mining after its closing to support regulatory decisions urgently needed.
  • For further control of the remediation process a directive on emission and immission monitoring during mining-related activities has been adopted. This directive is applied in the new Laender with respect to the decommissioning and remediation of facilities and installations of uranium ore mining and milling as well as regarding work activities at waste rock piles and tailings ponds and the use of these materials.
  • All changes during the remediation work activities have to be requested at the competent authority.
  • The Federal Office for Radiation Protection (BfS) is incumbent on the central registration of results from the emission and immission monitoring pursuant to the "REI Bergbau".

Recommendations concerning mining relics

Immediately after closing down of uranium mining, the German Commission on Radiological Protection (SSK) issued recommendations concerning the special radiological protection situation caused by mining activities to enable regulatory decisions urgently needed. In these recommendations the SSK has formulated reference levels. If these reference levels are complied with, measures to reduce radiological exposure probably need not be taken. When determining these reference values, the SSK followed the basic principle that for radiological protection reasons intervention measures are not justified for conditions which can also occur under normal conditions. The evaluation criteria applied in the project "Radiological registration, examination and evaluation of mining relics (Register of Relics)" are orientated to the SSK recommendations.

These were published during the years 1990 - 1994 and dealt with urgent questions which arose at the remediation of uranium mining areas. Among those were details concerning possible use of waste rock piles and sites influenced by mining activities as well as waters, but also the clearance of scrap and demolition rubble as well as the use of contaminated buildings in the uranium mining area. In addition, the SSK gave her opinion on the use of copper slag from the Mansfeld region in 1992.

All recommendations of the SSK can be downloaded as PDF files under SSK Online.

Following the further development of the remediation in regions of former uranium mining, in 1997 a regulation for monitoring of these activities was adopted, namely:

The "Richtlinie zur Emissions- und Immissionsüberwachung bei bergbaulichen Tätigkeiten (REI Bergbau)" is applied in the new Länder with respect to

All changes during the remediation work activities have to be requested at the competent authority. During the remediation process unavoidably resulting radioactive discharges of water, dust and air are investigated and permitted by the authority. Monitoring of emission and immission enables the control of compliance with permissible activity discharges and the evaluation of the radiation exposure of man resulting from the discharges of radioactive substances with air and water and from releases.

The Federal Office for Radiation Protection (BfS) is incumbent on the central registration of results from the emission and immission monitoring pursuant to the "REI Bergbau" and its reporting to the environmental ministry as well as the Federal Parliament and the Federal Council.

State of 2017.07.20

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