Clearance of solid waste materials
Desclasificación de materiales residuales sólidos
The operation and dismantling of nuclear and radioactive facilities produce waste materials or sub-products with varying radioactivity contents. The low activity contents of a considerable part of these materials allow their disposal, recycling or re-use without the need for radiological restrictions and using the normal means for handling other waste of a similar nature.
Given that these waste materials have originated in processes that are subjected to the regulatory control of practices with sources of ionising radiation, to handle them outside this system it is necessary to ensure that their future use does not involve an unacceptable radiological risk to the public and to the environment.
The administrative action through which certain solid waste materials with very low activity contents are allowed to be managed by conventional means without any type of radiological restriction is called declassification.
The Regulation on Nuclear and Radioactive Facilities includes radiological criteria that apply to the declassification of waste materials so that they can be managed by conventional means for disposal, recycling or re-use. The Spanish Nuclear Safety Council (CSN) has defined the basic principles on which the Spanish declassification system must be based in accordance with the legal framework and taking into account the recommendations of international organisations and of the European Union.
By approving common action procedures for all nuclear power plants in operation, the CSN has also established the criteria and technical basis for declassifying scrap metal, active carbon, ion exchange resins, used oil and wood.