Building Capacity in Decommissioning and Environmental Remediation

Hands-on training during the IAEA Training Course at ANL


Hands-on training during the
IAEA Training Course at ANL.

24 June 2011 | The IAEA is helping Member States to develop skills in implementing safe and cost effective strategies for decommissioning nuclear facilities and remediating sites contaminated by radioactive material.

Recently, two IAEA networks, the International Decommissioning Network (IDN) and the Environmental Management and Remediation Networks (ENVIRONET) jointly organized a training course which enabled 22 participants from 16 Member States to acquire skills in managing the decommissioning of nuclear facility and environmental remediation projects in their countries. The two-week training course was hosted by the Argonne National Laboratories (ANL) in the USA.

Participants came from state or national waste management and regulatory agencies, operators of facilities or sites undergoing large scale clean up actions, and national research organizations in the following countries: Armenia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Malaysia, Philippines, Poland, Romania, the Russian Federation, Serbia, Slovakia and Ukraine.

"Our aim was to promote greater understanding of the main activities required for decommissioning disused nuclear facilities and for large scale clean-up actions to remove contaminants from the environment" said Patrick O'Sullivan, Decommissioning Specialist in the IAEA Waste Technology Section. "A novel feature of this training course was to address both areas – decommissioning and environmental remediation – in an integrated way" he added.

In a combination of lectures and hands-on exercises, the participants, who included regulators and managers and technical staff engaged in decommissioning and remediation projects, learned a range of key concepts such as project planning, site characterization, dose and risk assessment, technologies for decontamination and dismantling, as well as regulatory, costing and stakeholder involvement issues. The course provided a holistic view of decommissioning and environmental remediation, and experienced professionals gave practical examples.

"This training course will enable the participants to better understand the entire scope of the issues they face in decommissioning and remediation, and structure their projects in line with good international practices", explained Horst Monken Fernandes, Environmental Remediation Specialist in the IAEA Waste Technology Section. "Since the participants came from many different countries, they were able to share their individual experiences and establish contacts that I trust will be maintained in the future; and people will be able to help each other in facing their challenges" he concluded.

The Regional Training Course in Nuclear Facility Decommissioning and Environmental Remediation Skills was developed under the IAEA Technical Cooperation Project 3009: "Supporting Planning for the Decommissioning of Nuclear Power Plants and Research Reactors (Phase II).

More information on the course is available at the Networks website of the IAEA Division of Nuclear Fuel Cycle and Waste Technology.

Background

The IAEA has established several networks to facilitate efficient sharing of international knowledge and expertise in the areas of radioactive waste management, decommissioning or nuclear facilities and remediation or radiologically contaminated sites.

The International Decommissioning Network (IDN) focuses on the exchange of information and experience related to the decommissioning of nuclear facilities, including the promotion of good practice in decommissioning technology, planning, project management and the management of the resulting wastes.

Contact: P. O'Sullivan, Scientific Secretary, IDN

The Network of Environmental Management and Remediation (ENVIRONET) addresses the relevant skills, knowledge, managerial approaches and expertise related to environmental management and remediation.

Contact: H. Monken Fernandes, Scientific Secretary, ENVIRONET

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