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Systems Studies of the Radiation Legacy and the Development of the Informational, Legal, and Regulatory Framework for Post-Rehabilitation Institutional Control, Oversight, and Management of Radiation-Hazard Facilities in the Russian Federation*

S. N. Brykin, All-Russian Scientific Research Institute of Chemical Technology O. G. Lebedev, Russian Research Center—Kurchatov Institute V. K. Popov, Russian Research Center—Kurchatov Institute D. A. Serezhnikov, All-Russian Scientific Research Institute of Chemical Technology


As a result of military and civilian nuclear programs during the past 60 years, several countries, particularly the former Soviet Union (or USSR), have created a number of specific engineered facilities and sites that are powerful radiation sources. Large volumes of radioactive wastes have accumulated, and significant areas have been subjected to radioactive contamination. With the end of the Cold War, it became possible to publish substantial information and to begin work on evaluating the contamination and cleaning up affected areas. The idea of studying the radiation legacy of the former USSR was first formulated by the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) in 1992. Somewhat later, in March 1993, the government published a book entitled Facts and Problems Related to the Burial of Radioactive Wastes in Seas Bordering the Territory of the Russian Federation. This book laid the foundation for an entire range of publications on problems of the radiation legacy.

The first systems study of problems of the radiation legacy of the former USSR was undertaken by the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA). Encouraged by the Russian National Organization for IIASA, the institute created the Radiation Safety of the Biosphere (RAD) project in 1993.

*

Translated from the Russian by Kelly Robbins.



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8 Systems Studies of the Radiation Legacy and the Development of the Informational, Legal, and Regulatory Framework for Post-Rehabilitation Institutional Control, Oversight, and Management of Radiation- Hazard Facilities in the Russian Federation* S. N. Brykin, All-Russian Scientific Research Institute of Chemical Technology O. G. Lebede, Russian Research Center—Kurchato Institute V. K. Popo, Russian Research Center—Kurchato Institute D. A. Serezhniko, All-Russian Scientific Research Institute of Chemical Technology As a result of military and civilian nuclear programs during the past 60 years, several countries, particularly the former Soviet Union (or USSR), have created a number of specific engineered facilities and sites that are powerful radiation sources. Large volumes of radioactive wastes have accumulated, and significant areas have been subjected to radioactive contamination. With the end of the Cold War, it became possible to publish substantial information and to begin work on evaluating the contamination and cleaning up affected areas. The idea of studying the radiation legacy of the former USSR was first formulated by the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) in 1992. Somewhat later, in March 1993, the government published a book entitled Facts and Problems Related to the Burial of Radioactie Wastes in Seas Bordering the Territory of the Russian Federation. This book laid the foundation for an entire range of publications on problems of the radiation legacy. The first systems study of problems of the radiation legacy of the former USSR was undertaken by the International Institute for Applied Systems Analy- sis (IIASA). Encouraged by the Russian National Organization for IIASA, the institute created the Radiation Safety of the Biosphere (RAD) project in 1993. *Translated from the Russian by Kelly Robbins. 

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 CLEANING UP SITES CONTAMINATED WITH RADIOACTIVE MATERIALS One objective of the RAD project was to evaluate the degree and seriousness of radioactive contamination in the former USSR. In 1995 the International Science and Technology Center (ISTC) approved the start of the RADLEG project (No. 245), Development of a Sophisticated Computer-Based Data System for Evaluation of the Radiation Legacy of the Former USSR and Setting Priorities on Remediation and Prevention Policy. The project was initiated by the RAS, the Russian Ministry of Atomic Energy (Mi- natom, now the Russian Federal Atomic Energy Agency, or Rosatom), the Rus- sian Research Center—Kurchatov Institute, and IIASA (Austria) and financed by the European Union and Sweden. Completed over the course of 6 years, the RADLEG project aimed to establish a system of data on radiation sources, radioactive wastes, and contaminated areas in the former USSR to facilitate creation of technically and economically effective technologies for cleaning up radioactive contamination. From 1995 through 2001, 24 Russian organizations and agencies, 5 foreign collaborators, and more than 250 individual participants worked on the project. Based on a simple operational database created in the first phase of the project, a generally accessible RADLEG database was developed in Access and Oracle formats. During the second phase of the project, additional information obtained from both new publications and accessible archives of the participat- ing organizations was added to the database and subjected to expert review. The updated concept for the unified structure of the database includes the following research fields (sectors) involved in the radiation legacy of the former USSR: • Nuclear power plants • Shore-based waste repositories, enterprises servicing nuclear power fa- cilities, sunken and submerged objects • Scientific research institutes, pilot plants, research nuclear reactors, and nuclear research centers • Nuclear explosions for nuclear weapons testing purposes • Nuclear explosions for civilian purposes • Storage and reprocessing of nonreactor radioactive wastes and spent ionizing radiation sources • Prospecting, mining, enrichment, and reprocessing of uranium ores • Hexafluoride production and isotopic enrichment of uranium • Nuclear fuel manufacturing • Radiochemical reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel • Production of nuclear materials • Major radiation accidents • Power-producing reactor facilities For each research field, there are screen interface forms with data on the en- terprises, organizations, or sites (more than 120 total), each with its own unique

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 SYSTEMS STUDIES OF THE RADIATION LEGACY code assigned in accordance with an enterprise classification system specially developed under the project. The facility or site is the primary unit in the database structure. Each entry in the database contains a description of a specific facil- ity or site. There are nine main facility or site classifications, each divided into subclasses, the number of which depends on the functional load of the particular facility or site. Each class and subclass is assigned its own unique code. Table 8-1 is an example of the classification system. TABLE 8-1 Example of the Facility and Site Classification System in the RADLEG Accessible Database 0100 Test sites for underground leaching experiments 0200 Near-surface underground radioactive waste repositories 0300 Deep burial sites for the storage of liquid radioactive wastes 0400 Nuclear reactors and critical stands 0500 Nuclear explosions 0600 Atmospheric emissions 0700 Discharges into water systems 0800 Contaminated lands 0900 Submerged radioactive objects In addition to the categories “Enterprises” and “Facilities,” the user inter- face also includes “Events” and “Accidents.” The “Events” category includes information on the submerging of vessels or other objects, nuclear explosions, contaminated lands, and emissions and discharges of radioactive substances. The “Accidents” category includes data on emergency situations and their conse- quences. Provisions have been made for the possibility of modifying the database structure and including additional information fields. An analytical overview entitled “The Radiation Legacy of the Former USSR: Available Data on Main Areas of Research” was prepared in 1996. The paper included information on accumulated radioactive wastes and planned measures for managing radioactive materials. The material was prepared on the basis of data submitted by more than 20 organizations involved in the project. In subse- quent discussions, requirements for primary source materials characterizing the situation in each sector of the former Soviet nuclear complex were reviewed and more clearly formulated. It was recommended that separate chapters be prepared on each of the following 11 sectors: 1. Uranium mining and uranium ore enrichment 2. Uranium conversion and isotopic enrichment 3. Nuclear fuel manufacturing 4. Nuclear power plants 5. Nuclear-powered ship engines

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 CLEANING UP SITES CONTAMINATED WITH RADIOACTIVE MATERIALS 6. Research nuclear reactors and nuclear research centers 7. Plutonium production and radiochemical reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel 8. Nuclear weapons production and decommissioning 9. Nuclear explosions 10. Storage and reprocessing of nonreactor radioactive wastes and spent ionizing radiation sources 11. Social aspects of the nuclear legacy The new edition of the analytical overview devotes special attention to con- sidering the data on the situation regarding the main components of the nuclear fuel cycle. This new edition may be viewed as a fundamental work that has been officially approved by the leading Russian scientific research organizations, in particular, by organizations operating in the nuclear sector. It contains both gen- eral information on the nuclear legacy of the former USSR and information on its specific sectors and individual facilities and sites, especially those presenting the greatest radiation hazard to the public and the environment. The review was published by IIASA in February 2000 as a book entitled The Radiation Legacy of the Soiet Nuclear Complex: An Analytical Oeriew.1 Organized by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the Euro- pean Commission, the Russian Ministry of Atomic Energy, and the RAS, the international conference “The Radiation Legacy of the Twentieth Century: Envi- ronmental Restoration” was held in Moscow in 2000. The conference proceed- ings (featuring papers by scientists from more than 20 countries, including 15 participants of the RADLEG project) were published by IAEA in 2002. 2 Further research on the radiation legacy continued under ISTC Project 2097, Development of a Sophisticated Information System Including a Meta-Database and Regional Radioecological Cadastres for Assessment of the Radiation Impact on the Environment and Population: Evaluation Study of the Northwest of Russia and the Krasnoyarsk Region (RADINFO). Financial support for the project was provided by the European Union, the United States, and Rosatom. The results of the RADINFO project (www.radinfo.org.ru) included the creation of a meta- database on radiation-hazard facilities and sites in the former USSR; regional geographic information cadastres on radiation sources and radiation contamina- tion in two regions, northwestern Russia and Krasnoyarsk Krai; local geographic information systems (on civilian nuclear explosions, radioecological impacts of nuclear power plants, and so forth); and a demonstration pilot subproject to assess 1 Egorov, Nikolai N., Vladimir M. Novikov, Frank L. Parker, and Victor K. Popov, editors. 2000. The Radiation Legacy of the Soviet Nuclear Complex: An Analytical Overview. London: Earthscan Publications, Ltd. 2 Radiation Legacy of the Twentieth Century: Environmental Restoration. Papers and Discussions: Proceedings of the International Conference (RADLEG-2000) Held in Moscow, Russian Federation, October 30-November 2, 2000, IAEA-TECDOC-1280. Vienna: IAEA.

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 SYSTEMS STUDIES OF THE RADIATION LEGACY the effect of the Mining-Chemical Complex on public health and the environment in the Yenisei River basin, which produced the analytical review “Radioecological Impact of the Mining-Chemical Complex in Krasnoyarsk Krai.” The series of systems studies on the radiation legacy of the USSR under ISTC projects 245 (RADLEG) and 2097 (RADINFO) helped create the neces- sary informational infrastructure for comprehensively analyzing and evaluating the status of radiation-hazard facilities and sites and for obtaining a graphic picture (not only statistical but also dynamic) of the conditions under which ra- diation sources operate and the possible means by which radioactive contamina- tion might spread. The research also highlighted the necessary preconditions for assessing radiation impacts on public health and the environment, which in turn opens up prospects for a shift to the next and final stage in studying the radiation legacy. This stage must include development of recommendations for setting pri- orities in environmental protection policy, including the planning of countermea- sures and the formation of a system for monitoring, stewardship, and institutional control over radiation-contaminated areas, which is the ultimate goal of studying the radiation legacy. Plans call for these studies to be carried out under the new RADINKO project (ISTC No. 3707), Development of the Information, Legal, and Regulatory Basis for a System of the Institutional Control and Stewardship of Radioactively Contaminated Areas and Radionuclide Ionizing Radiation Sources in the Russian Federation. Using the radioecological information system created under RADLEG and RADINFO, an information base for institutional control will be developed. It will consist of local and Internet-based versions of the geographic information cadastre of contaminated areas (using the same data structure established in the worldwide Directory of Radioactively Contaminated Sites produced by IAEA). The total area contaminated by radionuclides as a result of the activities of the former Russian Ministry of Atomic Energy from 1945 through 2000 is about 480 km2. A large portion of the contaminated area lies within the boundaries of sanitary-protective zones and observation zones around enterprises. About 15 percent of the total area of radionuclide-contaminated land at Minatom en- terprises is characterized by rather high exposure dose rate levels exceeding 200 μR per hour (see Table 8-2). The data presented in the table are from 2000, but these levels have remained practically unchanged to 2007. Significant areas in the Russian Federation were subjected to radioactive contamination from the Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident in April 1986 and the associated release of a large quantity of radionuclides. Despite the un- avoidably subjective nature of efforts to establish demarcation lines in the region to define which areas should be considered radiation-contaminated territory, under accepted practice this area’s boundary has been set as the isoline within which initial cesium-137 contamination density is on the order of 37 kBq/m 2 (1 Ci/km2). In Russia, about 28,000 km2 falls into this category. Some areas were contaminated with radiation by nuclear weapons testing at

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 CLEANING UP SITES CONTAMINATED WITH RADIOACTIVE MATERIALS TABLE 8-2 Radionuclide-Contaminated Areas at Rosatom Enterprises as of January 1, 2000 (in km2) In Sanitary- On Facility Protective In Observation Enterprise Total Area Grounds Zone Zone Priargunsk Mining-Chemical 8.53 7.33 0.78 0.42 Association Almaz Mining-Metallurgical 1.34 (1.03) 1.07 (1.018) 0.27 (0.012) — Enterprise Machine-building plant 0.26 (0.26) 0.01 (0.01) 0.13 (0.13) 0.12 (0.12) (Elektrostal) Novosibirsk Chemical 0.15 (0.14) 0.07 (0.07) 0.08 (0.08) — Concentrates Plant Polymetals Plant (Moscow) 0.016 (0.001) 0.002 (0.001) 0.014 — Chepetsk Mechanical Plant 1.35 (0.062) 1.34 (0.059) 0.01 (0.003) — (Glazov) Zabaikalsk Mining- 0.04 0.04 — — Enrichment Complex Mayak Production Association 452.16 (65.70) 38.46 (17.70) 217.54 (38) 196.16 (10) Mining-Chemical Complex 4.71 (0.203) 4.29 (0.19) 0.07 (0.013) 0.35 (Zheleznogorsk) Siberian Chemical Complex 10.39 (4.191) 10.09 (4.026) 0.30 (0.165) — (Seversk) Kirovo-Chepetsk Chemical 0.70 0.17 0.15 0.38 Complex All-Russian Scientific 0.13 (0.01) 0.13 (0.01) — — Research Institute of Technical Physics (Snezhinsk) Scientific Research Institute 0.39 (0.081) 0.15 0.24 (0.081) — of Atomic Reactors (Dmitrovgrad) Institute of Physics and Power 0.001 (0.001) 0.001 (0.001) — — Engineering (Obninsk) Total 480.32 (71.68) 63.235 (23.08) 219.64 (38.48) 197.43 (10.12) Excluding Mayak 28.16 (5.98) 24.79 (5.38) 2.10 (0.48) 1.27 (0.12) NOTE: Figures in parentheses represent the area where the exposure dose rate exceeds 200 μR per hour. the Novaya Zemlya test site or by nuclear explosions carried out in other loca- tions for industrial purposes (particularly in the Republic of Yakutia and Ivanovo and Perm oblasts). All told, 81 underground nuclear explosions were set off for economic purposes in the Russian Federation from 1965 through 1988 as part of the program Nuclear Explosions for the Economy. All of the sites in the Russian Federation that were created using nuclear explosion technologies may be placed in one of the following four categories:

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 SYSTEMS STUDIES OF THE RADIATION LEGACY 1. Sites closed by appropriate legal acts: 40, including 2 (Dnepr-1 and Dnepr-2) closed under officially approved projects 2. Sites in operation for their original purposes: 16, 2 of which (Kama-2 and Vega, vessels 1T-15T) have operating organization status 3. Sites at the decommissioning stage: 21, 15 of which are being studied 4. Sites in catastrophic status (Globus-1 and Kraton-3) or categorized as such (Taiga and Kristall): 4 Undoubtedly, the greatest danger to the public living near sites created using nuclear explosion technology is that resulting from the catastrophic civilian nu- clear explosions Globus-1 and Kraton-3, as well as the explosions involving soil dispersal (Taiga and Kristall), which specialists also classify as catastrophic. It should be noted that localized radioactive contamination is found on the grounds of about 20 sites in all four categories, and there are also cases of burial of soil, mine tailings, and equipment. As of 2007, new problems and even contradictions have been uncovered in connection with the institution of new laws in the Rus- sian Federation covering such areas as nuclear energy, public radiation safety, environmental protection, and others, and as a result of new conclusions drawn from data on the radiation consequences of nuclear explosions. The former onshore technical bases serving the nuclear naval fleet on the Kola Peninsula (Andreev Bay, Gremikha village) represent real sources of radia- tion risk to the public and the environment. Furthermore, Russia has areas sub- jected to radioactive contamination from prospecting, mining, and processing of uranium and thorium ores, which have led to increased concentrations of natural radioactive substances. The urgent task today is to complete a full inventory of such areas as part of the unified federal system for accounting and control of radiation-contaminated areas. This will create the necessary preconditions for adequately monitoring the radiation situation in these areas and adjacent zones and developing rehabilitation programs. Russia has now accumulated a certain amount of practical experience in rehabilitating radiation-contaminated areas. This includes both areas subjected to contamination from the Chernobyl accident and lands contaminated by the operations at such sites (including incidents involving the release of radioactive substances into the environment) of nuclear industry facilities like the Mayak Production Association in Chelyabinsk Oblast, the Siberian Chemical Complex in Tomsk Oblast, and the Almaz Uranium Mining Enterprise in Stavropol Krai. Ex- perience gained in rehabilitating areas at the Russian Research Center—Kurcha- tov Institute, located in the midst of a residential area in northwestern Moscow, and at the Moscow Polymetals Plant merits special attention. In many cases, reha- bilitating sites to the extent that radionuclide concentrations are reduced to natural background levels, thus allowing them to be used afterwards without restriction or constant monitoring, is impossible for several reasons (technical limitations, economic expedience, worker health considerations, safety problems, prevention

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0 CLEANING UP SITES CONTAMINATED WITH RADIOACTIVE MATERIALS of environmental side effects, and so forth). This means that institutional control must be maintained over such sites for a prolonged period. Long-term post-rehabilitation oversight entails a differential approach to or- ganizing systems of measures to manage and monitor sites after restoration work is completed, including establishing administrative responsibility, a legal regime, environmental monitoring systems, and safety measures. The legal framework for this sort of activity in the Russian Federation has yet to be clearly defined; therefore, a top priority task is to analyze the Russian Federation’s existing legal, regulatory, and methodological documents related to the rehabilitation of radionuclide-contaminated areas and the subsequent monitoring of their status. An optimal balance must be found between social and economic factors on the one hand and the degree of protection on the other. In recent years the IAEA has initiated a broad program of efforts touching on all aspects of environmental rehabilitation. In particular, drawing from the experi- ence of the United States, Great Britain, Germany, Canada, and other countries in this field, the agency is conducting analyses and holding international meetings under the heading “Management of Long-Term Radiological Liabilities: Stew- ardship Challenges.” Part of this activity involves developing a new approach to the problem of reducing the radiation risk from the effects of sites left after the decommissioning of radiation-hazard facilities. This approach entails shifting away from the idea of rehabilitating the site to “green field” status and instead establishing long-term institutional monitoring. Based on the regulatory and legal framework, the creation of which was also a task under the project, categorization rules and criteria will be developed as well as classification principles (by levels of potential danger to the public and the environment) for areas subjected to radioactive contamination as a result of the activities of Rosatom enterprises. Data will be systematically organized on the regulatory, legal, and informational content for a system of accounting and institutional control over ionizing radiation sources in the Russian Federation. Plans also call for the creation of a project Web site with a system for assign- ing user access rights to the information contained. An analytical review will be prepared of Russian experience in the environmental rehabilitation of radiation- contaminated areas, including the organizational, legal, technological, medical- sanitary, economic, and social aspects of such efforts. Based on the information infrastructure and on an analysis of existing domestic and foreign regulatory and legal documentation, the foundations will be laid for a computerized deci- sion support system regarding forms and limits of institutional control. The final stage in the project will be the development of proposals on the formation of a strategic plan for long-term institutional control (including after rehabilitation) over radiation-contaminated areas in the Russian Federation (taking IAEA de- velopments into account).