Radiological surveillance of metallic materials and Megaport
Instalaciones no reguladas
A Protocol was signed on 2nd November 1999 between the Ministry of Industry, the Ministry of Public Works, the Spanish Nuclear Safety Council (CSN), the Radioactive Waste National Company (Enresa), the Steel Companies Association (Unesid) and the Spanish Recovery Federation (FER) for cooperation on the radiological surveillance of metallic materials. This was later joined by the Mining and Metallurgy Federation of Workers Commissions (CC.OO.) in 2000 and the Steel, Construction and related Industries Federation of the General Workers Union (UGT), in 2002 by the Spanish Association of Aluminium Refiners, the Copper Industries National Association and the Lead Industries Association and, more recently in November 2003, by the Spanish Federation of Foundry Associations.
This Protocol forms the reference framework for the radiological surveillance of metals destined for recycling in Spain. It sets a series of commitments and actions to be undertaken by each signatory to guarantee the radiological surveillance of metallic materials and the management of detected radioactive materials or those that could be generated in an accident.
Experience has shown the use of this agreement as a tool not only to detect the radioactive material that may be present in scrap metal to be recycled, preventing the consequent risks that this involves, but also to prevent the contamination to reach the outside of the facility in case a radioactive source melts. The availability of established action procedures also allows the actions to be started automatically, a better coordination among the organisations involved and a reduction of the radioactive waste to be handled and of the plant’s recovery time.
The action Protocol when the unintentional movement or illicit traffic of radioactive material is detected in ports of general interest (Megaport Protocol) was signed in 2010 by the State Tax Administration Agency, the Secretary of State for Security, the Secretary of State for Transport, the Secretary of State for Energy, the CSN and the Radioactive Waste National Company (Enresa). Its purpose is to set the actions to be taken if the unintentional or illicit movement of radioactive material is detected in ports of general interest in Spain, in order to relocate and handle it in suitable conditions of physical safety and radiological protection and to facilitate the adoption of the necessary additional measures by all the relevant authorities and the various agents involved.
In all cases in which radioactive material appears in the ports to which the agreement applies, three basic actions are required once its existence has been confirmed.
i. Isolation of the package in which the radioactive material has been detected.
ii. Detailed analysis for decision making on later actions.
iii. Identification and delivery of the material to the organisation responsible for the safe management of radioactive waste in accordance with national and international standards.