With Directive 2013/59/EURATOM of 5 December 2013, the European Parliament laid down new requirements for radiation protection in Europe which have meanwhile been implemented in the national law of the member states. Here not only artificial radiation sources but also naturally occurring radionuclide’s (NORM = naturally occuring radioactive material) are integrated into the general requirements of radiation protection. Industries processing materials containing naturally occurring radionuclide’s, such as the zirconium industry, are called NORM industries. Even if the glass industry is not yet included under the heading NORM industry, the implementation of the above-mentioned Directive into national radiation protection regulations will have a number of consequences for the glass industry.
These include in particular:
- Determination of the activity thresholds (exemption values) for naturally occurring radionuclide’s of the U-238 and Th-232 decay series at 1 Becquerel / gram (Bq/g) and at 10 Bq/g for K-40. This leads to the fact that products with higher specific - naturally occurring - activities are formally classified as radioactive materials.
- The designation of the zirconium and zirconium industry as a NORM industry in need of monitoring raises the question whether and to what extent in the future also industries using e.g. refractory materials containing zirconium will be covered.
- In principle, the national legislator has the possibility to extend the list mentioned in the EU Directive.
- On the part of the companies there is usually the possibility to be exempted from the requirements of the Radiation Protection Act. For this purpose it has to be proved that all workers are not to be classified as exposed workers or that the dose amount expected for a person due to the exempted activity minus the background radiation from natural radiation sources is in the range of 1 millisievert (mSv) or less per year. This proof is achieved on the basis of measurements supplemented by radiation exposure modeling.
- The obligation of the Member States to support the detection of unregistered sources of radiation by appropriate measures leads to an increased monitoring of waste streams for radioactivity from transboundary movements.
In co-operation with Nuclear Control & Consulting GmbH we carry out measurements and assessments of demolition materials (cold repair measures) and other waste from the glass industry throughout Europe.
Our services in detail
- Preparation as well as evaluation and assessment of documents for competent application to the authorities (demolition concepts, occupational safety concepts, disposal concepts)
- Dose rate measurement with officially calibrated radiation measuring instruments
- Support with technical questions in the context of negotiations and talks with authorities
- Accredited and officially acknowledged reporting and expertise
- Radiation protection assessment of waste from the glass industry containing zirconium during disposal and recycling