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Iraq decommissioning project

Decommissioning of the Iraq former nuclear complex


Project Overview

IRRT-5000 Reactor, Al TuwaithaThere are a number of sites in Iraq which have historically been used for nuclear activities, some of which contain significant amounts of radioactive material. Many of these sites suffered substantial physical damage during the Gulf War of 1991 and several have been subject to looting of materials and equipment as a consequence of the challenging security situation in the country. Most of these sites have some degree of contamination and require decommissioning and remediation in order to ensure radiological safety.

Contaminated scrap equipment, Al JesiraIn December 2004, the Government of Iraq requested IAEA assistance to determine the effort needed to implement this work and to set up plans and programmes for its delivery. An initiating meeting was convened in Vienna in February 2006 which was attended by the Iraqi Minister of Science and Technology and by representatives from sixteen countries and the European Commission. The meeting agreed on the broad scope of the assistance project. The project is coordinated by the Waste and Environmental Safety Section within the IAEA Division of Radiation, Transport and Waste Safety, with input and support from other IAEA Divisions and by many Member States. The project is supported financially by contributions from the United States which are scheduled to end in 2013.

The current project activities address the following broad fields:

  • Finalizing new laws establishing a National Atomic Energy Commission as well as an Atomic Nuclear Regulatory Commission, building on existing organizations and experiences
  • Implementing an interim regulatory regime pending formal establishment of the new legal regime
  • Planning and execution of early demonstration activities including the decommissioning of the Active Metallurgical Testing Laboratory (LAMA), Geo-pilot Plant and the Italian Radioisotope Production Laboratories (IRPL) and addressing the associated political and public interfaces
  • Planning to stabilize unsafe structures at the Al-Tuwaitha Nuclear Centre
  • Planning to bring order and control to the radioactive scrap throughout Iraq (including plans for interim and final storage and disposal facilities)
  • Reorganizing the decommissioning and waste management activities in order to give a proper management focus within the Ministry of Science and Technology
  • Continuing decommissioning activities using a risk prioritization list of abandoned facilities
  • Finalizing decommissioning and remediation plans for multiple high-risk facilities and sites (Tammuz-2, IRT-5000, Fuel Fabrication Facility, Adaya, etc.) and initiating operational and regulatory action at the sites
  • Determining the end state for the Al-Tuwaitha site (e.g., industrial reuse)
  • Implementing a quality management system as a prerequisite to the international accreditation (ISO 17025) of the Al-Tuwaitha Radioanalytical Laboratory
  • Joining in the Official Opening Ceremonies of the new Al-Tuwaitha Radioanalytical Laboratory
  • Continuously outreaching to other Member States who may be interested in cooperating in the project

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| Last update: Tuesday, December 09, 2014.