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Iraq decommissioning project

Characterisation and site/facility records


In order to prepare decommissioning plans and the associated prioritization of the sites and facilities, it is necessary to properly understand the radiological and non-radiological hazard status of the facilities and of the materials and wastes which will be generated in the decommissioning process.

Data exists from survey work carried out in different time periods and with different objectives, some of which will be relevant to the current status. In most cases, this data is not systematic and there may be uncertainties over data quality. Due to the turmoil created by the wars and the subsequent security situation, much historical data has been lost or its location is uncertain. This includes design and construction data for many of the facilities. Several potential data sources must be searched, including records and the knowledge of experienced operators within Iraq, IAEA's INVO inspection team files and also the organizations which provided some of the nuclear facilities (i.e., France, Italy and Russia).

The programme

It was therefore necessary to assemble and collate all existing data on those sites and facilities within the project, and to determine the boundaries of the project by confirming the absence of hazards in other locations of potential interest. The data had to be  interpreted for relevance, quality and confidence. The availability of data will have then to be judged against the requirements for establishing the decommissioning plans. It is inevitable that much more characterization data will be required in order to underpin the plan, and it is necessary to arrange for a systematic data measurement and collection exercise, within a quality management system, to cover the gaps.

The necessary additional monitoring and sampling work will require appropriate equipment, expertise and services. These requirements must be assessed, and assistance will be provided through procurement and training.

The project is generating a considerable data set which needs to be managed in an efficient manner. The provision of a Data Management System is currently being implemented which will support both the representation of data based on facility mapping and also to track the material, once decommissioning commences, through the waste management processes up to clearance or final disposal.

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| Last update: Tuesday, 09 December, 2014.