An assay on the effect of preliminary restoration tasks applied to a large TENORM wastes disposal in the south-west of Spain


A large industrial wastes disposal site, where two phosphate rock processing plants release their wastes, located close to Huelva town (SW of Spain), has been partially submitted to restoration as a preliminary step in a possible decomissioning process. Due to the high natural radioactivity contents of these wastes, this repository is considered as a radiological anomaly, being actually considered as TENORM (technically enhanced naturally occurring radioactive materials). The efficiency of this restoration from the radiological point of view according to the new European regulatory framework was evaluated in this work.

The results allow to conclude that, as a consequence of the partial restoration works, the external dose rate has been drastically reduced above the repository system. Nevertheless, special attention must be paid on the occupational factor to be applied to workers on the unrestored system. The application of a dosimetric model allows the prediction of the negative effects of using certain industrial wastes as a cover system in this restoration/mitigation task.