Radioactive Waste Disposal: Remediation/Decommissioning
The goal of decommissioning a facility that has been used for the storage or disposal of radioactive waste is cleaning up the structures, soil, groundwater, and any other components of the site as necessary to protect human health and the environment. In other words, the level of radioactivity must be reduced until each remaining radionuclide is at or below the corresponding regulatory level.
To make sure you comply with State rules when cleaning up or decommissioning one of these facilities, follow these steps:
- Contact us as far in advance as you can. We can help you determine whether you need a license and, if so, provide you with the appropriate application package.
- If necessary, complete and submit the application package:
- a signed original and five complete copies of form TCEQ-10052, Application for License to Possess Disposed Radioactive Material and Decommission the Inactive Site. Contact us for TCEQ-10552 form and instructions.
- a map and cross-referenced list of adjacent landowners (include an electronic mailing list on diskette in Word 2003 or later format)
- the application fee (submit this fee and a copy of page 1 of the application to our Financial Administrative Division)
In this application, you will outline a decommissioning plan for our staff to review. In developing this plan, you might find these publications to be helpful:
- the EPA’s Multi-Agency Radiation Survey and Site Investigation Manual (MARSSIM)
- the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s Consolidated Decommissioning Guidance (NUREG-1757)
- the EPA’s Use of Soil Cleanup Criteria in 40 CFR 192 as Remediation Goals at CERCLA Sites
After you have received our approval of your plan, the cleanup activities may begin. When the cleanup is complete, you must submit proof that remaining radionuclides are at or below regulatory levels.
At this point, our staff will conduct a confirmatory closeout survey to determine whether the cleanup has achieved “as low as reasonably achievable” (ALARA) levels as defined in Title 30 Texas Administrative Code (30 TAC) Section 336.002 and, if so, whether the site may be released with one of these ratings:
- unrestricted use, as defined in 30 TAC Section 336.603,
- restricted use, as defined in 30 TAC Section 336.607
If our staff determines that either the cleanup has not achieved this goal or too little information is available to tell, our executive director may require you to perform additional work and submit results which demonstrate that the facilities and land are suitable for release.
Contact us if you have any questions.