Waste Technology Section

Network on Environmental Management and Remediation (ENVIRONET)


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The IAEA Mobile Unit for Site Characterization

The mobile unit for site characterization is now nearing completion and a demonstration meeting is planned for the week of 3-7 October 2011 (Dresden, Germany) where the unit will be trialled in the field, under the observation of international experts. This demonstration will be a significant step in the preparations to make the unit available for characterization of sites in member states which are contaminated with natural or anthropogenic radionuclides.

Site characterization is a fundamental step in any remediation project. It will determine the extension of the contamination, the types of contaminants present and their distribution in the contaminated area(s). Uncertainties associated with the number of collected samples and their geographical representativeness tend to be more significant than the uncertainties associated with the analytical results. Collecting environmental samples, transporting them to the laboratory, performing the analysis and interpretation of the results tend to be a time consuming and costly process. Therefore, in-situ techniques coupled with GPS/GIS tools allow for more comprehensive, faster and less expensive site characterization works. Decisions can be made while the investigation team is in the field. This is why the IAEA is developing a Mobile Unit for Site Characterization that will be made available to those Member States that are faced with the challenge of implementing characterization works as part of remediation projects but face difficulty with the implementation of this activity. Partners of the IAEA in this project are: CEA/France, IRD/Brazil, NECSA/South Africa, SARAD GmbH/Germany, and Tetra Tech/USA. A demonstration event is being planned for the 2nd quarter of 2011. Contact us for more information.

Support System for Assessment of Risks to the Public and the long term performance of remediation solutions applied in Uranium Mining Sites – SATURN

The objective of the project is to develop a web based support system (SATURN) for assessment of risks to the public and the long term performance of remediation strategies in legacy sites and ongoing operations of uranium mining production centers. The project will be carried out within the ENVIRONET. The support system will include methodologies, models and databases that have been developed within the IAEA projects EMRAS I, EMRAS II, MATHREM (Development of a TECDOC on Mathematical Models for Remediation of Contaminated Lands) and other relevant projects. The support system will include online training materials and the project will carry out training courses to provide users with basic knowledge needed for performing risk assessments and to instruct them on the use of the support system. Partner of this initiative is FACILIA AB Sweden. The project is open to other partners.

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