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Nuclear Safety Cooperation

Establishment of a legislative and regulatory framework, regional watershed monitoring system and capacity building for remediation of uranium mining legacy sites

Status
Closed
Central Asia Region
Benefitting Zone
Central Asia
€ 2,146,963.74
EU Contribution
Contracted in 2014
INSC
Programme
Instrument for Nuclear Safety Cooperation

Details

Type of activity

Regulatory Authorities

Nature

Services

Method of Procurement

(FR2012) (Ext. act) Service - International Restricted Procedure with prior publication (Art. '5.1(a)(i) & 2 RAP)

Duration

16/06/2014 - 29/11/2017

Contractor

ENCONET CONSULTING GMBH

Project / Budget year

INSC2010 part II - Regional / 2010

Summary

The short-term purposes, which aim to ensure a more effective coordination among the countries in the region and with international partners, and that constitute the purpose of these ToR are the following:

  • The establishment of a common base for the necessary legislative and  regulatory framework, which will allow the harmonisation of the national specific related arrangements in the region;
  • The design of a regional  watershed  monitoring  system  for radiological and chemical contaminants;
  • Capacity building in the domain of analytical capabilities, including the determination of ground parameters for physico-chemical characterisation and of radionuclide concentration (alpha, beta, gamma and radon);
  • Training and  education  in radiation protection, environmental monitoring, remediation planning and techniques;
  • The establishment of a web-based  database  where all the information related to legacy uranium sites in the countries in the region can be stored and shared.

Objectives

Uranium production in Central Asian countries between mid-1940s and 1990s has left behind a huge legacy of uranium mining and processing sites and facilities. The overall objective of the project REG4.01/10 was to promote a coordinated, safe and cost-effective management of the legacy uranium mining and processing sites in Central Asia by establishing the basis for effectively addressing the problems related to remediation of such sites in the beneficiary countries Kyrgyz Republic, Republic of Tajikistan, Republic of Uzbekistan and Mongolia.

The specific objectives were:

  • The establishment of a common base for the necessary legislative and regulatory framework, which will allow the harmonisation of the national specific related arrangements in the region;
  • The design of a regional watershed monitoring system for radiological and chemical contaminants;
  • Capacity building in the domain of analytical capabilities, including the determination of ground parameters for physico-chemical characterisation and of radionuclide concentration (alpha, beta, gamma and radon);
  • Training and education in radiation protection, environmental monitoring, remediation planning and techniques;

The establishment of a web-based database where all the information related to legacy uranium sites in the countries in the region can be stored and shared.

Results

The project consisted of seven tasks, of which the first one was project preparation, and last one final reporting and dissemination of the results. The results of tasks 2-6 are briefly summarised below.

TASK 2: ESTABLISHING RECOMMENDATIONS FOR LEGISLATIVE AND REGULATORY FRAMEWORK

Task 2 of the project was dedicated to the review of the national legislative and regulatory framework governing the remediation of uranium production legacy sites (UPLS) in the four beneficiary countries.

In the reviews, the relevant legal and regulatory documents were compared with international conventions, standards and recommendations. Gaps identified in the comparative analyses led to recommendations for enhancement of national legislation and regulations, and workshops were organised to present the results to national stakeholders.

TASK 3: DESIGN OF A REGIONAL WATERSHED MONITORING SYSTEM

The objective of Task 3 was the design of a regional watershed monitoring system to survey the quality of the water in river systems with potential risk of radioactive and/or chemical contamination in Kyrgyz Republic, Republic of Tajikistan and Republic of Uzbekistan.

The task resulted in the system design, which covers assessment, justification and definition of the geographical scope of the watershed monitoring system, detail description of the system, design drawings, maps and charts, equipment purchase specifications, including maintenance requirement and consumables, implementation time schedule, and budget (both investment and yearly operational costs).

TASK 4: CAPACITY BUILDING IN THE DOMAIN OF ANALYTICAL CAPABILITIES

The objective of Task 4 was to build in the four beneficiary countries the capacity in the domain of analytical and monitoring capabilities, and to improve the capacity of the countries to adequately monitor the UPLS and to enhance the surveillance of the environment.

Within the task, the needed laboratory capacity was estimated based on international standards and best practices as well as on the available information on the current or planned monitoring programme of the uranium legacy sites in the beneficiary countries. A proposal of concept of laboratory systems was established for each beneficiary country with identification of the principal needs in training and equipment, and technical documentation was developed.

TASK 5: TRAINING AND EDUCATION

The objective of the Task 5 was to enhance national capacity in addressing issues associated with the UPLS through training and education of the national regulatory bodies, the operators and other stakeholders, to provide them with the knowledge, skills and competences to plan, implement, control and regulate the successful remediation of uranium production sites.

The task consisted of as a series of activities, such as training need analysis, design and development of training course and training materials, and implementation of the trainings. A technical visit to Slovenia was organised to share practical experience on regulation of uranium production site remediation.

TASK 6: WEB BASED DATABASE FOR INFORMATION EXCHANGE

The objective of Task 6 was to develop and commission a web-based information system for exchange of information on legacy sites of the four participating countries. This should allow for the storage and exchange of comprehensive data of each country on the locations, existing relevant objects, planned and on-going remediation projects, as well as site-specific information and maps.

The developed information system is a modular solution allowing each country to run its own instance of web-based database, maintaining its own access policies and procedures, and export the relevant data to a common regional database. A detailed design document contains comprehensive description of technical solutions for the information system and technical specifications for software and hardware to be made available by the beneficiaries.

Upon completion of the main developments and finalisation of the relevant technical and training documentation (including manuals and procedures) a training course was held to trainees from the beneficiary countries.

Conclusions and recommendations

The problem of uranium production legacy sites in the Central Asian countries has not only national but also a regional nature. The potential environmental and health impact of failure of containment in any one of the sites may affect the territories of the neighbouring countries.

The main achievements of this project are summarised below.

  • Reports describing current legal and regulatory framework in individual countries with comparison with IAEA standards and best EU practice, as well as recommendations on improving the regulatory framework in each beneficiary country.
  • Detailed design of a regional watershed monitoring system with budget and implementation schedule.
  • Description and assessment of the existing analytical capacities and capabilities and technical documentation of the proposed laboratory systems in each beneficiary country.
  • Improved capacities of national regulatory bodies, the operators and other stakeholders through education and training activities.
  • Information system for storage and exchange of diverse information on remediation of UPLS, including national and regional databases, design documentation, operation and maintenance manuals and protocols for data exchange.
  • Four national and one regional workshops delivered which ensured dissemination of project results among project stakeholders and other interested organisations both national and international.

In order to fully benefit from these achievements, the project outputs should be streamlined with the target organisations. Important issues are e.g. the incorporation of the recommendations in further improvement of the national legislations, success of a follow-up project on establishing river watershed monitoring and laboratory systems, the extent of utilization of the information system capacities, and preservation and efficient utilization of knowledge and skills of the trained staffs.