Keywords: authorised use, clearance levels, clearance procedure, free release, German law, clearance regulations, radioactive waste management, Germany, nuclear decommissioning, nuclear waste storage, nuclear energy, nuclear power, radiation protection, nuclear safety
New regulations for release in Germany: a chance for minimisation of radioactive waste and reduction of costs
The EURATOM Basic Safety Standards provided the occasion to establish comprehensive clearance regulations in German law. The new German Radiation Protection Ordinance contains detailed regulations regarding clearance of radioactive substances with negligible radioactivity from practices subject to authorisation. For about 300 radionuclides, there are mass- and surface-specific clearance levels for e.g. unconditional release of solid and liquid substances and of buildings. Specific clearance levels are also established for disposal and incineration. German clearance levels are in full agreement with all recommendations issued by the European Commission. Especially for decommissioning projects, the clearance regulations help in planning the mass flow and the costs of the project. An effective clearance procedure reduces the costs of radioactive waste management and waste storage. Valuable raw material will be returned into the economic cycle.