International Atomic Energy Agency
(Unofficial electronic edition)
The Definition Required by Annex I, Paragraph 6 to the Convention, and the Recommendations Required by Annex II, Section D
The IAEA Revised Definition and Recommendations of 1978 Radioactive Wastes and Other Radioactive Matter Referred to in Annexes I and II to the Convention
DEFINITION AND RECOMMENDATIONS*/
|A.1.||Definition of High-Level Radioactive Wastes or Other High-Level Radioactive Matter Unsuitable for Dumping at Sea|
|B.1.||Environmental Evaluation of Specific Dumping Applications|
|B.2.||Monitoring and Assessment|
|B.3.||Environmental Evaluation of Total Dumping|
|C.1.||General Requirements Governing Operational Control of Dumping of Waste|
|C.2.||Requirements for Selection of a Dumping Site|
|C.3.||Special Requirements for Packages for Dumping|
|C.4.||Approval of the Ship and its Equipment|
|C.7.||International Co-operation and Observation|
|1.1.||The Convention of 1972|
|1.2.||Purpose of this Annex|
|2.1.||Radiation Protection Principles to be Applied to Waste Management|
|2.2.||Sources of Radioactivity in the Sea|
|2.3.||Basis of the Definition (High-Level Radioactive Wastes or Other High-Level Radioactive Matter Unsuitable for Dumping at Sea)|
|2.4.||Environmental Evaluation of Specific Dumping Applications|
|2.5.||Monitoring and Assessment|
|2.6.||Environmental Evaluation of Total Dumping|
|2.7.||General Principles Governing Operational Control of Dumping of Waste|
|2.8.||Factors Affecting Choice of a Dumping Site|
|2.9.||Special Requirements for Packages for Dumping|
|2.10.||International Co-operation and Observation|
DEFINITION AND RECOMMENDATIONS
The Definition and Recommendations set forth in this Document should not be interpreted as precluding the adoption of more restrictive requirements by any Party to the Convention or appropriate national authorities, pursuant to Articles IV. 3 and Vl. 3 of the Convention. Nothing in this Document shall be construed as encouraging the dumping at sea of radioactive waste or other radioactive matter.
1.1. Definition of High-Level Radioactive Wastes or Other High-Level Radioactive Matter Unsuitable for Dumping at Sea1.
A.1.1. For the purposes of Annex I to the Convention, high-level radioactive wastes or other high-level radioactive matter unsuitable for dumping at sea means any waste or other matter with an activity per unit gross mass (in tonnes) exceeding:
The above activity concentrations shall be averaged over a gross mass not exceeding 1000 tonnes.
A.1.2. The Definition must not be taken to imply that material falling outside the Definition is thereby deemed to be suitable for dumping.
A.1.3. Materials of activity concentrations less than those in the above Definition shall not be dumped except in accordance with the provisions of the Convention, in particular Annexes II and III thereto, and the Recommendations set out in this Document, in particular Section B.1.2.
B.1. Environmental Evaluation of Specific Dumping Applications
B.1.1. The appropriate national authorities shall not grant a special permit for dumping of radioactive waste unless a detailed environmental and ecological assessment gives a reasonable assurance that such dumping can be accomplished in accordance with the objectives and provisions of the Convention and the Recommendations set out in this Document.
B.1.2. When granting a special permit, the appropriate national authorities shall, to the extent practicable, ensure that the proposed dumping operation complies with the radiation protection requirements set forth in the IAEA Basic Safety Standards for Radiation Protection2.. These requirements are based upon the System of dose limitation of the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) which requires that:
In particular, the upper limits to activity release rates from all sources (other than natural sources) when released into an ocean basin with a volume of not less than 1017 m3 shall not exceed:
No special permit should be issued which would cause these limits to be approached.
B.1.3. It is essential that a general policy of continued isolation and containment of radioactive waste after descent to the sea-bed should be pursued through the use of suitable packaging to minimize to the extent reasonably achievable the radioactivity which might ultimately be released, thereby preventing unnecessary contamination of the marine environment.
B.1.4. (formerly B.1.2 in the previous Document) The environmental assessment shall include, in addition to the factors specified in Annex III to the Convention, consideration of:
B.1.5. (formerly B.1.3 in the previous Document) The IAEA is of the opinion that it is necessary that the reports to be submitted, pursuant to Article VI.4 of the Convention, to the Inter-Governmental Maritime Consultative Organization (IMCO) include this environmental assessment in relation to an individual application for a special permit for dumping.
B.2. Monitoring and Assessment
B.2.1. In the context of dumping carried out in accordance with the Convention, the following requirements shall be met:
B.3. Environmental Evaluation of 'Total Dumping
B.3.1. In addition to the environmental assessment in relation to an individual application for a special permit for dumping, the appropriate national authorities shall take the following factors into account in determining whether each proposed dumping operation is acceptable:
This evaluation will be facilitated through the establishment of regional agreements and other appropriate forms of international co-operation.
C.1. General Requirements Governing Operational Control of Dumping of Waste
C.1.1. The dumping of liquid or unpackaged radioactive waste into surface and shallow waters should not be authorized until such time as the IAEA formulates appropriate recommendations governing such dumping. The direct dumping of unpackaged liquid radioactive waste into the deep sea shall be prohibited since such waste would not be sufficiently dense or immiscible with sea-water to descend to and remain on the sea-bed. The dumping of packaged liquid radioactive waste into the deep sea is specifically excluded pursuant to Section C.3.2.2. Solid radioactive wastes where the radioactivity is intrinsically contained in a relatively insoluble matrix and which can be shown not to disperse before reaching the sea-bed, do not require packaging and can be dumped in the deep sea under the same requirements as for packaged solid waste.
C.1.2. In order to make an assessment for the Definition of material which is unsuitable for dumping, a model was developed based on a calculated upper limit to radioactivity release rates from all sources. For operational control these calculated values were expressed as activity per unit-gross mass in tonnes based upon an assumed dumping rate of 100 000 tonnes per year at any site. This assumed rate of dumping should not be interpreted as implying that such a rate will be reached or as encouraging such a rate. It would be prudent for the appropriate national authorities to authorize dumping at the lowest rate which is reasonably practicable, having regard to the development of applications of nuclear energy.
C.1.3. The dumping operation must be subject to strict control. A number of factors have to be taken into consideration. They concern, in particular, the conditioning and packaging of the waste in order to ensure safe transport and handling, and minimization of the risk of accidental recovery of containers after disposal. This is covered by operational measures dealing with the choice of a suitable dumping site, the design and construction of waste containers, the choice of an appropriate ship able to dispose of the waste at the given dumping site, provisions for radiation protection of the crew, and an adequate supervision of the dumping operations by competent escorting officers. All these operational requirements shall, therefore, be included in the special permits issued by the appropriate national authorities in accordance with the Convention.
C.2. Requirements for Selection of a Dumping Site
C. 2.1. In addition to the factors specified in Annex III to the Convention, the following requirements shall be met by the appropriate national authorities in the selection of a site for the dumping of packaged waste:
C.2.2. The dumping site shall be defined by precise co-ordinates. In order to ensure a reasonable operational flexibility, it should have an area as small as practicable, but no larger than 104 square kilometres.
C.3. Special Requirements for Packages for Dumping
C. 3.1. General
C. 3.1.1. In addition to the provisions of Article IV of the Convention, the following requirements for conditioning, handling, transport and immersion shall be met.
C.3.2. Conditioning of Waste
C.3.2.1. Waste in the package shall be either solid, solidified or absorbed in a solid substrate.
C.3.2.2. Waste in liquid form shall be excluded, because its rise to the surface cannot be precluded. Small quantities of liquids such as tritiated water may, however, be absorbed in a material of good absorption capacity. Containers of such absorbed liquids shall be mounted within a second enclosure of an appropriate design.
C.3.3. Handling and Transport
C.3.3.1. The relevant provisions of the IAEA Transport Regulations5. shall be complied with, together with any applicable national and international transport regulations for dangerous goods. In particular, the packages shall be designed to ensure adequate containment of the waste during handling and transport until the end of the dumping operations.
C.3.4.1. The packages shall be designed to ensure that the contents are retained within them during descent to the sea-bed. To achieve this, the following requirements shall be met:
C.4. Approval of the Ship and its Equipment
C.4.1. Certain special requirements are necessary for ships engaged in the dumping of packaged radioactive wastes. These requirements are set out below:
C.5. Escorting Officers
C.5.1.1 The dumping operation shall be supervised by approved escorting officers representing the national authorities granting the dumping permits. Their duties and responsibilities, powers and qualifications are separately specified in Sections C.5.2.1, C.5.3.1 and C.5.4.1 below.
C.5.2. Duties and Responsibilities
C.5.2.1. The escorting officer shall have the following duties and responsibilities:
C.5.3.1. Without prejudice to the master's overall responsibility for the safety and control of the ship and the crew:
C.5.4.1. To fulfil these responsibilities and to exercise these powers, the escorting officer:
C.6. Record Keeping
C.6.1. Approved records of the nature and quantities of all matters permitted to be dumped, and the location, time and method of dumping shall be kept and reported to IMCO and to other parties as appropriate, in accordance with Article VI.l(c) and 4 of the Convention.
C.7. International Co-operation and Observation
C.7.1. Dumping should preferably be carried out within the framework of regional co-operation agreements as provided for by Article VIII of the Convention.
C.7.2. International co-operation in the selection of dumping sites should be encouraged.
C.7.3. In order to further the objectives and provisions of the Convention, the IAEA is of the opinion that the Parties to the Convention, IMCO, and the appropriate national authorities should provide for international or multilateral observation of loading and disposal at sea of radioactive waste or other radioactive matter to satisfy themselves that these operations are carried out in accordance with the Convention and with the Definition and Recommendations set out in this Document.
1.1. The London Dumping Convention of 1972
1.1.1. The Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other Matter was adopted by an Intergovernmental Conference which met in London from 30 October to 13 November 1972, at the invitation of the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The Convention was opened for signature by any State at London, Mexico City, Moscow and Washington from 29 December 1972 until 31 December 1973 and thereafter for accession by any State. After the entry into force of the Convention on 30 August 1975, a meeting of the Contracting Parties to decide on organizational matters, held in London from 17 to 19 December 1975, designated the Inter-Governmental Maritime Consultative Organization (IMCO) as the Organization responsible for Secretariat duties in relation to the Convention. The Convention provides for control of "any deliberate disposal at sea of wastes or other matter from vessels, aircraft, platforms or other man-made structures at sea" and any deliberate disposal of such vessels, aircraft, etc. themselves. The prevention of marine pollution emanating from the normal operations of vessels, aircraft, etc. or directly arising from the exploration and exploitation of sea-bed mineral resources is excluded from the scope of the Convention (Article III.1).
1.1.2. With respect to radioactive materials, the Convention entrusts the IAEA with specific responsibilities in the following provisions pursuant to Article IV:
"High-level radioactive wastes or other high-level radioactive matter, defined on public health, biological or other grounds, by the competent international body in this field, at present the International Atomic Energy Agency, as unsuitable for dumping at sea";
"Radioactive wastes or other radioactive matter not included in Annex I. In the issue of permits for the dumping of this matter, the Contracting Parties should take full account of the recommendations of the competent international body in this field, at present the International Atomic Energy Agency".
1.1.3. Article IV.1 of the Convention makes a distinction between materials that may be dumped after the issue of a general permit and those that may be dumped only after the issue of a special permit. Annex II puts "radioactive wastes or other radioactive matter" into the class requiring special permits without, however, defining such radioactive wastes or matter.
1.1.4. Article IV. 3 of the Convention provides that no provision thereof is to be interpreted as preventing a Contracting Party from prohibiting, in so far as that Party is concerned, the dumping of wastes or other matter not listed in Annex I. Further, the content of the Annexes to the Convention will be kept under review by consultative meetings of the Contracting Parties, which will be convened not less frequently than once every two years, or by special meetings which may be convened at any time on the request of two thirds of the Parties, pursuant to Article XIV. 3(a), 4(a) and 4(b) of the Convention. Amendments to the Annexes, which will be based on scientific and technical considerations, are subject to a simplified procedure as compared with amendments to the basic provisions of the Convention (Article XV.2).
1.1.5. Further, Article IV. 2 of the Convention provides that all the factors specified in Annex III thereto should be given careful consideration prior to the issue of any permit, including prior studies of the characteristics of the dumping sites as set forth in Sections B and C of that Annex.
1.2. Purpose of this Annex
2.1. Radiation Protection Principles to be applied to Waste Management
2.1.2. In selecting an appropriate waste management system it should be verified that natural resources are protected and that any reduction of amenities is acceptably low. Man is dependent upon the land and the sea, and both must be protected.
2.1.3. A balance has to be achieved between the need to find suitable storage or disposal methods, the radiation protection of workers and members of the public, and the overall cost involved. The justification for dumping radioactive wastes must be viewed in this light.
2.1.4. The most recent applicable recommendations by the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) should be used as a guide in this area.
2.2. Sources of Radioactivity in the Sea
2.2.2. Some solid wastes have been dumped in packaged form in the depths of the sea. This form of disposal has been limited to materials with low radioactivity content for example, during the 1967-1977 period a total of about 51 600 tonnes of packaged solid radioactive waste, containing about 5900 curies of a-emitters, about 190 000 curies of emitters and, additionally, about 183 000 curies of tritium has been dumped in the north-east Atlantic Ocean. The annual amounts dumped during that period, expressed as fractions of the limiting release rates implied in the Definition, never exceeded
1% for a-emitters
1% for /emitters with half-lives of at least 0.5 years (excluding tritium)
10-4 % for tritium
and only twice approached 10% of the assumed upper limit to the mass dumping rate.
2.2.3. Unlike many of the stresses presently confronting man, radiation and radioactivity have always been a part of man's environment. Studies by the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR) show that the present doses to humans of naturally occurring radiation lie generally in the range of 100 mrem/yr to 300 mrem/yr with doses in a few areas exceeding 1000 mrem/yr. The main contributions to this exposure are radioactive materials in the earth's crust, cosmic radiation and natural radioactivity in the human body (mainly 40K).
2.2.4. The marine environment contains a wide range of natural radionuclides mainly 40K, 87Rb, members of the uranium and thorium series, and 14C and 3H. The total activity in all of the sea (mainly 40K) amounts to rather more than 300 Ci/km3 or nearly 500 000 MCi in total. Radium alone accounts for more than 1000 MCi. The doses to marine organisms are usually of the order of 10 mrad/yr to 100 mrad/yr.
2.2.5. Though the total naturally occurring radioactive content of the sea is very large, this does not provide a sure basis for determining what quantities of radioactivity may be added in local areas without leading to unacceptable additional exposures to man or the marine environment. Though such additions may be relatively small in quantity, the hazards associated with localized releases of wastes must be assessed and considerable care exercised, as contemplated by the Convention, in disposing of any radioactive wastes into the marine environment.
2.2.6. Man has been dealing with radioactive materials in artificially concentrated or artificially produced forms for nearly three quarters of a century and has been generating electrical power from nuclear fission for over a decade. Man has also released radioactive material as the result of several series of nuclear explosions.
2.2.7. These operations have all resulted in some radionuclides being released into the environment, including the sea. Apart from short-lived radionuclides close to the scene of nuclear explosions, the quantities released to the sea so far amount to some hundreds of megacuries from explosions and a few megacuries from nuclear operations. To date, civilian nuclear power programmes have accounted for only a small fraction of these latter releases. These quantities amount to less than one thousandth (10-3) of the natural activity in the sea. This fraction gives an indication of the relative magnitudes, but no such simple comparison of activities can indicate the relative biological importance of the different radionuclides. They have very widely ranging toxicities, and their significance in a given environment depends not only on this fact but also on their distribution and on the uses made of that environment
2.3. Basis of the Definition (High-Level Radioactive Wastes or Other High-Level Radioactive Matter Unsuitable for Dumping at Sea)
2.3.2. The limiting capacity of the oceans to receive radioactive waste has been extensively reviewed by a series of Consultants' Meetings and Advisory Group Meetings convened by the IAEA during 1976-1978.
184.108.40.206. In keeping with the recommendations of the Advisory Group on the Oceanographic Basis, the IAEA convened in June 1977 a Consultants' Meeting to review the radiological basis, at IMCO Headquarters, London. The consultants considered the conclusions and recommendations of the Advisory Group on the Oceanographic Basis as the primary guidelines and also took into account the comments expressed at the First Consultative Meeting of the Contracting Parties to the London Dumping Convention, which was held at IMCO Headquarters, London, from 20 to 24 September 1976.
220.127.116.11. The conclusions of these meetings, which were laid down in two reports, , were further reviewed by an Advisory Group Meeting, held in Vienna in March 1978. This meeting was attended by 42 experts from 24 countries and 3 international organizations. A summary of the conclusions concerning the oceanographic basis, the radiological assessment, and the implications for the Definition and Recommendations required by the London Dumping Convention is given below.
2.3.3. The present knowledge of oceanic processes is insufficient for the construction of a single comprehensive model to describe the movement of radionuclides released on the ocean bottom through the marine environment. Limiting calculations have thus been made separately for the long- and short-term transports of radionuclides in the ocean. These calculations have been made assuming a continuous release of radionuclides from the deep ocean over periods as long as 40 000 years which is commensurate with the half-life of 239Pu.
18.104.22.168. For those radionuclides whose half-lives are longer than the mixing time of a finite ocean basin, for example 239Pu, the well-mixed average concentration, including decay, provides a more reliable estimate of the water concentration than that given above for short-term processes. For these long-lived radionuclides, this finite basin concentration is greater than that specified above for the short-term processes and determines both the permissible release rate from a single site and from all sites in an ocean basin.
22.214.171.124. At intermediate time scales, especially for those radionuclides with half-lives similar to such time scales, oceanographic modelling of the transport of radionuclides is perhaps the most difficult. For these time scales it has been considered reasonable, however, for releases from a single site to use the concentrations given above for short-term processes since it is unlikely intermediate time scale processes could lead to larger concentrations.
126.96.36.199. For the estimation of the total permissible release rate in a finite ocean basin from all sites a model by Shepherd (1976) has been recommended for all time scales. This model gives the correct long-term finite basin fuel-mixed average concentration and is taken to have some validity at intermediate and short time scales. The isolation of man and his food chain from bottom water cannot be guaranteed due to biological pathways short circuiting the physical transport of radioactivity. Bottom water concentrations must therefore be limited to levels which will be acceptable in surface waters. For the hazard assessment the water concentration used in all cases is the bottom water concentration calculated from the Shepherd model using a vertical diffusion coefficient of 1 cm2/yr.
188.8.131.52, In general, the long-term large-scale processes lead to a release rate limit from all sites in a basin, whereas short-term small-scale processes lead to a limit which applies to a single-site only. The single-site release rate is more restrictive for short-lived radionuclides and in this case partitioning of waste between sites can increase the overall limit for the basin as a whole, For long-lived radionuclides, the long-term basin release rate is more restrictive and partitioning of wastes between sites does not affect the limit for the basin as a whole, Indeed, in this case, it is clear that the input of radionuclides into the basin from all sources, including those from other than the dumping of radioactive wastes, must be included in any assessment of the release rate limit.
184.108.40.206. Partition of radionuclides between water and sediment will result in reduced concentrations in a particular medium. In the hazard assessment no allowance was made for the removal of radionuclides to one pathway when considering the other.
220.127.116.11. Since estimates made of the transfer through the water column from a dump site were principally based on knowledge of processes in the large-scale anticyclonic oceanic gyres, they are not applicable to marginal seas or to the poleward side of the major oceanic gyres where deep convection or regions of low stability may result in more intense exchanges.
18.104.22.168. Keeping in mind both our present level of understanding of oceanic processes and the attempt at generality in the oceanographic basis, it is concluded that, for the continuous release of radionuclides in the deep ocean, the initial concentration at the source is unlikely to be important in determining the hazard to man; for long-lived radionuclides, calculated release rates must be interpreted as those arising from all sources in an ocean basin, whether these sources arise from dumping operations or other activities; and, finally, that future knowledge could result in estimates of release rates being revised either upward or downward.
2.3.4. In the radiological assessment, release rate limits were derived for individual nuclides using the oceanographic basis as described in 2.3.3 and postulating a number of representative pathways by which man might become exposed to radiation after release of radionuclides on the sea bed, resulting from dumping operations.
22.214.171.124. The release rate limits derived for the various pathways were based on the ICRP dose limits for individual members of the public. The philosophy underlying the procedure and the use of critical groups is presented in ICRP publications. It should be stressed that ICRP dose limits provide a lower boundary of an unacceptable range of values. Values above the ICRP limits are specifically to be avoided while values up to the limit are not automatically permitted. The ICRP limits should be considered as constraints for optimization procedures, which usually would result in radiation doses much lower than the dose limits. On the other hand, the dose limits are not thresholds above which undesirable effects begin to appear, but represent dose values corresponding to individual risks approaching unacceptable levels.
126.96.36.199. The maximum permissible annual intakes (MPAI) corresponding to the dose limits were taken from the IAEA Basic Safety Standards for Radiation Protection. Pathways that included the ingestion of radionuclides which were transported through sea-water were based on MPAIs for soluble forms of the particular radionuclide. In the case of inhalation, the most restrictive MPAIs have been used. The concentration factors used for each radionuclide in this assessment were obtained from a number of publications. Where factors were not available for certain elements or the potential pathways could not be specifically identified, for example, deep ocean living cephalopods, comparable values based on similar chemical elements or species with similar behaviour were assumed.
188.8.131.52. In the selection of radionuclides for the assessment, consideration was given to those that were expected to occur in wastes likely to be dumped at sea, including fission products, activation products and actinides with half-live of more than a few days. The selection included some radionuclides which would not normally arise in wastes from the nuclear fuel cycle but which might arise from other sources.
184.108.40.206. It should be noted that since the objective of the radiological assessment was to derive release rate limits, and since these by definition are related directly to the ICRP dose limits, assessment of collective doses or collective dose commitments as not done. This assessment would be appropriate for the optimization procedures recommended by ICRP and is a requirement when granting a special permit for dumping of radioactive waste (see B.1.2 of the Recommendations).
220.127.116.11. The permissible damage to the marine ecosystems due to dumping operations was considered and it was concluded that the radiation doses arising as a result of releases within the limits of the Definition are not expected to lead to significant adverse effects to populations as a whole.
2.3.5. Release rate limits were derived for individual radionuclides. For the sake of administrative convenience and analytical simplicity the radionuclides were grouped into three categories according to the basic properties of decay type and half-life. The groupings and the appropriate release rate limits are:
|Group||Release Rate Limits (Ci/year)|
|a-emitters, but limited to 104 Ci/yr for
226Ra and supported 210Po
|/-r-emitters with half-lives of at least O. 5 years
(excluding tritium) and /-emitters of unknown half-lives
|Tritium, and e/--emitters with half-lives
less than 0. 5 years
The release rate limits represent the limit of the most restrictive radionuclide in the particular group with two exceptions. It was concluded, however, that these exceptions could be included in their natural place in the grouping, either because the calculations are considered quite conservative because of unrealistic assumptions or because the relative amounts compared to other radionuclides of importance are known to be small.
2.3.6. In the Provisional Definition and Recommendations two explicit safety factors of 102 were applied to the calculated release rate limits to allow for:
18.104.22.168. A review of the way in which the assessment was made reveals that where specific data were not available conservative assumptions were used in the calculations and this could result in a substantial safety factor. Its numerical value depends on the particular radionuclide and set of circumstances and can neither be determined precisely nor be guaranteed. Certain important considerations, such as exposure of the critical group from more than one pathway or radionuclide and the possible existence of unforeseen pathways from the deep ocean to man, were taken into account. There was an attempt at all stages to make the results of the assessment as general as possible. Therefore, the release rates given above were adopted without modification as being the best possible estimates which can be made for them at the present time.
2.3.7. To meet the objectives of the Convention it is necessary to express the Definition in terms of a concentration (radioactivity per unit mass). The revised definition has therefore been based on the release rate limits for a single-site and an assumed upper limit on mass dumping rate at a single-site of 100 000 tonnes/year. This leads directly to the concentration limits given below:
2.3.8. The assumption of 100 000 tonnes/year is arbitrary and the radiological hazards would not be materially altered if the concentration figures were to be revised upward (or downward) provided the release rate limits are observed.
2.3.9. The necessity to limit releases to finite ocean basins (i. e. effectively to limit the number of sites per ocean basin) has been met by an addition to paragraph B.1.2 of the Recommendations which imposes the release rate limits for a finite ocean volume of 1017 m3. The Definition and Recommendations have therefore been constructed so that the single-site release rate limits are incorporated via the combination of initial concentration of radioactivity and the mass dumping rate. The finite ocean volume release rate limits are incorporated as part of the Recommendations.
2.3.10. (paragraph 2.3.6 in the previous Document) In practice, it is expected that areas selected for dumping will be specially chosen as having favourable characteristics. This fact, together with the way in which the assessment was made, ensures that man and his environment should be protected if wastes of higher total activity than this are prohibited from dumping. Moreover, other wastes shall only be disposed of at sea in accordance with special permits issued by the appropriate national authorities alter ensuring that the proposed dumping operations comply with the radiation protection requirements as in paragraph B.1.2 and after proper assessment of the possible environmental impact.
2.3.11. (paragraph 2.3.10 in the previous document; paragraphs 2.3.8 and 2.3.9 in the previous Document were no longer appropriate and have been deleted) The use of these concentration limits would cause the annual limits stated above to be approached only if the rate of dumping at any one site approached 100 000 tonnes per year and if all this material had an activity concentration close to the concentration limits. The assumed annual dumping rate at each site will be reviewed by IMCO and by the IAEA. The appropriateness of the Definition in the light of actual dumping rates will be kept under review by the IAEA.
2.3.12. For operational purposes it is necessary to average the limiting values over a substantial mass of waste. It is recommended that the limiting concentration in the Definition be taken to be the average over a mass not exceeding 1000 tonnes. Expressing the Definition as an activity per unit gross mass averaged over a small fraction of the assumed annual dumping rate should result in keeping the total activity dumped annually below the calculated annual release rate limits.
2.3.13. The Definition must not be taken to imply that material in which the concentration of radioactivity is below that specified in the Definition is thereby deemed to be suitable for dumping. No radioactive material may be dumped except in accordance with the provisions of the Convention, in particular Annexes II and III thereto, and with the Recommendations set out in this Document.
2.3.14. It should be noted that no material is totally devoid of radioactivity. However, it is clearly not the intention of the Convention that every material should be treated as a potential radioactive pollutant and the competent authorities of the Contracting Parties will wish to define some "de minimis" level of specific activity below which a material will not be regarded as "radioactive" for the purposes of the Convention. No such numbers are suggested at this time and some flexibility of interpretation is therefore left to the appropriate national authorities. Although not derived for the purpose of dumping, some guidance may be found in the levels set forth for exemption of radioactive materials from regulatory control in various international and national standards and regulations; such levels are generally within an order of magnitude of 10-3 Ci/t.
2.4. Environmental Evaluation of Specific Dumping Applications
2.4.2. At the levels of radioactive materials which may be dumped under the terms of he Definition, the present state of knowledge, cautiously interpreted, should provide a satisfactory basis for environmental assessments. There is a substantial body of relevant scientific literature, including publications of the IAEA (e g. the Safety Series, the Technical Reports Series and the Symposium Proceedings), ICRP and UNSCEAR. In carrying out these environmental assessments it should not be necessary for the appropriate national authorities to require that detailed field and experimental studies undertaken in every case. Dumping sites provide an opportunity for studying the interactions of radionuclides with deep sea sediments and organisms. The IAEA recommended that these studies be carried out where appropriate and practical to obtain knowledge for future practices and needs.
2.5. Monitoring and Assessment
2.5.2. As detailed in the relevant guidance provided by the IAEA publications (particularly IAEA Safety Series No. 5) and ICRP Publication 7, the general objectives of environmental monitoring prorammes are as follows:
In the context of dumping carried out in accordance with the Convention and the Recommendations set out in the Document, it is unlikely that exposure assessment objectives could be entirely fulfilled by direct environmental monitoring. The use of other less direct methods (e.g. modelling calculations) could provide more precise estimates. However, environmental monitoring combined with research can provide information testing the validity of present assumptions and help to provide a sound scientific basis for the conservation of ocean resources and for future monitoring operations and an improved technical basis for evaluating future practices. These studies should be carried out.
2.6. Environmental Evaluation of Total Dumping
2.6.2. In addition to these reviews the Contracting Parties to the Convention are required by Article VI. 4 to report in detail to IMCO the special permits issued and the nature and quantities of all matter permitted to be dumped, together with the location, time and method of dumping. National records are expected to contain all the information necessary for such reporting as well as for the establishment of an international register. The environmental assessment is considered a necessary part of this information.
2.7. General Principles Governing Operational Control of Dumping of Waste
2.7.2. In addition to the movement of the radioactivity through ecosystems, other factors have to be taken into consideration in assessing the acceptability of a proposed dumping operation. The concern, in particular, the conditioning of the waste in order to ensure safe transport and handling and the risk of an accidental recovery of packaged waste after dumping. This is covered by operational measures dealing with the design and construction of waste containers, the required forms of solid waste (see paragraph 22.214.171.124), the choice of a suitable dumping site, the choice of an appropriate ship able to dispose of the waste in the given dumping site, provisions for radiation protection of the creu and an adequate supervision of the dumping operations by competent escorting officers. All these operational measures should, therefore, be included in the special permits issued by the appropriate national authorities in accordance with the Convention.
2.8. Factors Affecting the Choice of a Dumping Site
2.8.2. In general, the first step in an evaluation will involve the selection from a number of possible sites of those apparently most suited for safe disposal of packaged or solid wastes. Among the factors which must be considered in such a site selection are:
2.8.3. It is evident that dumping sites must be selected in areas not used for bottom trawling or other types of bottom fishing and which are unsuited for future utilization. Areas crossed by sub-marine cables in current use are likewise undesirable. In general, dumping sites located in the deep sea should be in areas where there is a low rate of exchange of the deep waters with the surface layers and with the waters of any adjacent continental shelf. Thus, sub-marine canyons located on the edge of the continental shelf are generally less suited for dumping sites than the deep waters in the true ocean basins, since the deep waters of the canyons more readily exchange with the waters of the continental shelf. As regions of deep convection exist to the poleward side of the major oceanic gyres, these requirements are best satisfied by the selection of sites in water having depths of 4000 m or more situated between latitudes 50oN and 50oS. Sites should be located clear of continental margins and open sea islands and not in marginal or inland seas. Nor should they be situated in known areas of natural phenomena, for example volcanic activity; that would make such a site unsuitable for dumping.
2.8.4. The importance of the sea and sea bed for resource development in the future can hardly be seen in accurate perspective today. They are likely however to be used on an increasing scale to obtain the mineral and food resources needed by mankind. Before selecting a dumping site studies should therefore be carried out to assess possible future resource development in the area concerned. The conduct of such studies could well be co-ordinated by an appropriate international organization. It would also seem desirable to agree internationally to approved dumping sites. Concern about the future exploitation of the sea would also make it prudent to keep the total number of dumping sites as limited as practicable.
2.9. Special Requirements for Packages for Dumping
126.96.36.199. When dealing with radioactive waste of the levels that may be permitted to be dumped the protection of man and the marine environment does not depend upon the long-term integrity of the packaging. However, packages so designed that their contents are retained during descent to the sea bed will generally remain intact for a period of time after they have reached the bottom. The packages will, however, eventually release some or all of their radioactive contents. When considering whether to issue a special permit for a specific site the appropriate national authorities should ensure that the concentration of radioactivity in the vicinity of the package does not present any unacceptable risk to man or the marine ecosystem.
188.8.131.52. To meet essential packaging requirements the considerations set forth in paragraphs 2.9.2 to 184.108.40.206 below apply.
2.9.4. Packaging Materials
220.127.116.11. Steel drums are frequently used for forming concrete containers and both the concrete and the steel can be regarded as protective. It is desirable that concrete used in packaging be of good quality and of low porosity if it is intended to resist breakage on impact with the sea bed and to withstand the destructive action of sea-water. It should not be regarded merely as weighting material. When concrete alone is used the thickness of the concrete between the waste and the outer surface should be sufficient to prevent rupture of the package on impact if this is required. Other suitable material can be used to provide the needed weight.
18.104.22.168. Baled radioactive waste which is not provided with a containment system should not be dumped.
22.214.171.124. Some forms of waste material are such that radioactivity is intrinsically well contained within the waste form itself (e.g. a metal matrix in which induced activity is fixed). When it can be shown that wastes in such forms will reach the ocean bed intact without dispersion of their radionuclide contents they should be considered to conform to the requirements for the dumping of packaged solid radioactive waste.
2.9.5. Specific Gravity
2.9.7. Strength against Impact
126.96.36.199. The package should exclude buoyant material unless it is treated or packaged so as either to preclude the return of such material to surface waters or to ensure that, on its return, it will not constitute a radiation hazard nor interfere materially with fishing, navigation or other legitimate uses of the sea. Among the materials which might thus be disposed of polyethylene is one of the few which are permanently buoyant and which thus present a special risk of return to the surface, especially when used in the form of closed bottles. The presence of polyethylene in containers for dumping would be acceptable only in the following cases:
2.10. International Co-operation and Observation
2.10.2. International co-operation in the selection of dumping sites and international observation of dumping operations have been suggested. International or multilateral observation is considered desirable to establish to the satisfaction of all parties concerned that dumping involving radioactive materials is carried out in accordance with the requirements of the Convention and the Definition and Recommendations of the IAEA. For instance, such observation is provided for under the Multilateral Consultation and Surveillance Mechanism for Sea Dumping of Radioactive Waste, established within the framework of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development on 22 July 1977.
1. The Definition is based on:
at a single dumping site and also in the case of a-emitters when released to an ocean basin of not less than 1017 m3.
2. INTERNATIONAL ATOMIC ENERGY AGENCY Safety Series No. 9: "Basic Safety Standards for Radiation Protection", 1967 Edition, Vienna, 1967, STI/PUB/147. This publication is under joint revision by the IAEA, the World Health Organization and the Nuclear Energy Agency of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.
3. INTERNATIONAL ATOMIC ENERGY AGENCY, Safety Series No. 5, "Radioactive Waste Disposal into the Sea", Vienna, 1961, STI/PUB/14.
4. INTERNATIONAL COMMISSION ON RADIOLOGICAL PROTECTION, "Principles of Environmental Monitoring related to the Handling of Radioactive Materials", A Report by Committe 4, ICRP Publication 7, 1965.
5. INTERNATIONAL ATOMIC ENERGY AGENCY, Safety Series No. 6, "Regulations for the Safe Transport of Radioactive Materials - 1973 Revised Edition", Vienna, 1973, STI/PUB/323; and INTERNATIONAL ATOMIC ENERGY AGENCY, Safety Series No.3, "Advisory Material for the Application of the IAEA Transport Regulations", Vienna, 1973, STI/PUB/324.
6. Throughout Sections C.4, C.5 and C.6 the term 'approved' means approved by the appropriate national authorities within the meaning of the Convention.
 Reproduced in IAEA Document INFCIRC/205.
 The IAEA Provisional Definition and Recommendations have been reproduced in document INFCIRC/205/Add. 1.
 See report of the First Consultative Meeting, IMCO, LDC/I/16, paragraph 49.
 Report of the Advisory Group Meeting to Review the Oceanographic Basis of the Provisional Definition and Recommendations for the Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other Matter. Technical document IAEA-210 (1978).
 Report of the Consultants' Meeting to Review the Radiological Basis of the Provisional Definition and Recommendations for the Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other Matter. Technical document IAEA-211 (1978).
 Shepherd, J. G. (1976), "A simple model for the dispersion of radioactive wastes dumped on the deep sea bed", Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries, UK, Fisheries Research Technical Report, No. 29.
 INTERNATIONAL ATOMIC ENERGY AGENCY Safety Series No. 9: "Basic Safety Standards for Radiation Protection", 1976 Edition, Vienna, 1976, STI/PUB/147. (This publication is under joint revision by the IAEA, the World Health Organization and the Nuclear Energy Agency of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.)
 INTERNATIONAL COMMISSION ON RADIOLOGICAL PROTECTION, Publication 26: Recommendations of the International Commission on Radiological Protection, Pergamon Press 1977.
 INTERNATIONAL ATOMIC ENERGY AGENCY, Safety Series No. 5 "Radioactive Waste Disposal into the Sea", Vienna, 1961, STI/PUB/14.
 INTERNATIONAL COMMISSION ON RADIOLOGICAL PROTECTION: "Principles of Environmental Monitoring related to the Handling of Radioactive Materials", a Report by Committee 4, ICRP Publication 7, 1965.
 INTERNATIONAL ATOMIC ENERGY AGENCY, Safety Series No. 6: "Regulations For the Safe Transport of Radioactive Materials - 1973 Revised Edition", Vienna, 1973, STI/PUB/323; and INTERNATIONAL ATOMIC ENERGY AGENCY Safety Series No. 37: "Advisory Material For the Application of the IAEA Transport Regulations", Vienna, 1973, STI/PU/324.
*/ The lines in the margin and underlining in the text of this Document, except for the headings, indicate changes from the text of the IAEA Provisional Definition and Recommendations set forth in the previous Document (INFCIRC/205/Add.1).
[*] Following sentence in the previous Document has been deleted.