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Decommissioning of Underground Structures, Systems and Components

English STI/DOC/010/439 92-0-104405-4
204 71 53.00 2006

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Among the facilities needing attention in decommissioning are underground
facilities. These require special consideration and are the subject of this report. Firstly, due to their poor accessibility, there are significant difficulties in physical and radiological characterization, deployment of decontamination techniques, and physical disassembly and removal. Secondly, these types of components are present in a large number of nuclear installations. However, early nuclear design and construction practices often did not consider or incorporate eventual decommissioning requirements in their design considerations, and these requirements were not commonly enforced in the early nuclear era. This is also true for those facilities situated in countries that do not have sufficient expertise in performing decommissioning. Thirdly, a comprehensive assessment of the literature on nuclear decommissioning of underground components shows that this subject has not yet received any systematic coverage, despite the technical difficulties that have been encountered in actual projects to date. This report is intended to draw attention to a neglected field and to collate and condense sporadic information into an overview of important factors and practical guidance.

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