Environmental remediation minimizes radiation exposure from contaminated soil, groundwater or surface water. Contamination of sites and exposure of radiation can be extremely dangerous to humans health and the environment.
Before beginning work, evaluating the health risks of radiation exposure is a majorly important step. Appropriate action should be taken to protect those in the community. This could mean a total evacuation and isolation of the contaminated area.
The overall remediation process should be communicated to relevant stakeholders and allow for their participation in the decision making process. The community and public will be a major driver of whether or not site remediation will be necessary. Additionally, the remediation actions must be justified. In other words, the actions performed must do more good than harm.
Keep in mind that it is not always possible to return a contaminated site back to its original state. Here are some other issues to take into account in the remediation decision process:
- Radiation risk to the population due to the land use (exposure assessment of people to radioactive materials in the site)
- Occupational exposure due to remediation works
- Net benefits of the remediation works to the affected community
- Waste generation from remediation
- Ethical issues (may affect the way people live)
- Financial costs of remediation
- Other non-radiological risks incurred
- Phase I and Phase II ESAs
- Soil and groundwater investigations
- Feasibility studies and remedial action plans
- Communication and interface with regulators
- Calculation of DCGLs and remedy selection
- Work plan development
- Mobilization of field crew for demolition and excavation
- Dewatering and on-site water treatment technologies
- Site restoration
- Project completion reporting and site release documentation