Radionuclide contamination

Introduction of radionuclide material, raising levels above background concentrations.

An increase in 10µGy/h above background levels.
Such materials can come from nuclear installation discharges, and from land or sea-based operations (e.g. oil platforms, medical sources). The disposal of radioactive material at sea is prohibited unless it fulfils exemption criteria developed by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), namely that both the following radiological criteria are satisfied: (i) the effective dose expected to be incurred by any member of the public or ship’s crew is 10 μSv or less in a year; (ii) the collective effective dose to the public or ship’s crew is not more than 1 man Sv per annum, then the material is deemed to contain de minimis levels of radioactivity and may be disposed at sea pursuant to it fulfilling all the other provisions under the Convention. The individual dose criteria are placed in perspective (i.e. very low), given that the average background dose to the UK population is ~2700 μSv/a. Ports and coastal sediments can be affected by the authorised discharge of both current and historical low-level radioactive wastes from coastal nuclear establishments.

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