Strategic Considerations for the Sustainable Remediation of Nuclear Installations

Nuclear Energy Agency

Nuclear sites around the world are being decommissioned and remedial actions are being undertaken to enable sites, or parts of sites, to be reused. Although such activities are relatively straightforward for most sites, experience has suggested that preventative action is needed to minimise the impact of remediation activities on the environment and the potential burden to future generations. Removing all  contamination  in  order  to  make  a  site  suitable  for  any  use  generates  waste  and  has  associated environmental,  social  and  economic  drawbacks  and  benefits.  Site  remediation  should  thus  be sustainable and result in an overall net benefit.

This report draws on recent experience of NEA member countries in nuclear site remediation during decommissioning  in  order  to  identify  strategic  considerations  for  the  sustainable  remediation of  subsurface  contamination  –  predominantly  contaminated  soil  and  groundwater  –  to  describe good  practice,  and  to  make  recommendations  for  further  research  and  development. It  provides insights  for  the  decision  makers,  regulators,  implementers  and  stakeholders  involved  in  nuclear  site decommissioning so as to ensure the sustainable remediation of nuclear sites, now and in the future.