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UK Surplus Source Disposal Programme

[+] Author Affiliations
Gordon H. John, Nigel Reeves, Amy C. Nisbet, Andrew Garnet

AMEC, Warrington, UK

Clive R. Williams

The Environment Agency, Westbury-on-Trym, UK

Paper No. ICEM2009-16097, pp. 795-798; 4 pages
  • ASME 2009 12th International Conference on Environmental Remediation and Radioactive Waste Management
  • ASME 2009 12th International Conference on Environmental Remediation and Radioactive Waste Management, Volume 2
  • Liverpool, UK, October 11–15, 2009
  • Conference Sponsors: Nuclear Engineering Division and Environmental Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4408-3 | eISBN: 978-0-7918-3865-X
  • Copyright © 2009 by ASME


The UK Surplus Source Disposal Programme (SSDP), managed by the Environment Agency, was designed to remove redundant radioactive sources from the public domain. The UK Government Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) was concerned that disused sources were being retained by hospitals, universities and businesses, posing a risk to public health and the environment. AMEC provided a range of technical and administrative services to support the SSDP. A questionnaire was issued to registered source holders and the submitted returns compiled to assess the scale of the project. A member of AMEC staff was seconded to the Environment Agency to provide technical support and liaise directly with source holders during funding applications, which would cover disposal costs. Funding for disposal of different sources was partially based on a sliding scale of risk as determined by the IAEA hazard categorisation system. This funding was also sector dependent. The SSDP was subsequently expanded to include the disposal of luminised aircraft instruments from aviation museums across the UK. These museums often hold significant radiological inventories, with many items being unused and in a poor state of repair. These instruments were fully characterised on site by assessing surface dose rate, dimensions, source integrity and potential contamination issues. Calculations using the Microshield computer code allowed gamma radiation measurements to be converted into total activity estimates for each source. More than 11,000 sources were disposed of under the programme from across the medical, industrial, museum and academic sectors. The total activity disposed of was more than 8.5E+14 Bq, and the project was delivered under budget.

Copyright © 2009 by ASME



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