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(last updated 25 Nov 2020)

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IAEA invites member states' comments on draft revision of safety guide 'Radiation Protection Programmes for the Transport of Radioactive Material (DS521)'

Revision of Safety Guide No. TS-G-1.3
The deadline for comments by Member States on this draft is 25 March 2021.
> Download Note Verbale (195kB PDF)
> Download Draft Safety Guide DS521 (674kB PDF)
> Download Document Preparation Profile (DPP) (650kB PDF)


IAEA invites member states' comments on draft revision of safety guide 'Compliance Assurance for the Safe Transport of Radioactive Material (DS515)'

Revision of Safety Guide No. TS-G-1.5
The deadline for comments by Member States on this draft is 30 November 2020.
> Download Note Verbale (PDF)
> Download Draft Safety Guide DS515 (1.1MB PDF)
> Download Document Preparation Profile (DPP) (66kB PDF)


UNECE Report on Redesigning the Uranium Resource Pathway

Non-proliferation experts raise concern over lack of scrutiny on uneconomical projects, such as by-product recovery of uranium from phosphate, in UNECE's proposal on "Redesigning the Uranium Resource Pathway": Diplomats at the UN and IAEA have proposed reclassifying uranium as a "critical material". That would allow countries to tap funding from the World Bank and other development institutions to ensure supply under the guise of the UN's sustainable development goals. While the change could potentially cut mining waste, it might also lead to a reduction of the scrutiny uneconomical projects get from nuclear inspectors.
The biggest beneficiaries to the new rules would be countries including Jordan and Saudi Arabia, which have large reserves of phosphate and growing populations that need to be fed with the crops it fertilizes. [...]
The risk that uranium is diverted for weapons could be reduced if countries adopted stricter international rules to safeguard uranium stockpiles. But implementing tougher rules, what the IAEA calls an additional protocol, isn't required as a precondition to get aid in recovering uranium from phosphate, according to IAEA director-general Yukiya Amano.
That's a concern among non-proliferation experts because of the IAEA's checkered past with uranium. The agency helped Pakistan develop resources that likely [went] into that country's weapons program. In Syria, under investigation since 2007 over clandestine nuclear work, the IAEA helped build a pilot extraction facility at a fertilizer plant in the city of Homs.
"Doing it with the IAEA and UN gives a kind of cover that allows countries to take one small step without raising suspicions," said Scott Kemp, a physicist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who advises the U.S. government on non-proliferation. "If this technology is used, it begs the question what will be done with the material?" [...]
"Because this process isn't economically competitive, the IAEA should be especially cautious when assisting countries to produce uranium." [weapons-investigator Robert] Kelley said. "It means they're acquiring uranium for other purposes than power and that should raise a flag." (Mining Weekly Apr. 15, 2019)

UNECE invites comment on Draft Report on Redesigning the Uranium Resource Pathway: Submit comments by close of business on 15 February 2019.
> View/Download: Redesigning the Uranium Resource Pathway, Application of the United Nations Framework Classification for Resources for Planning and Implementing Sustainable Uranium Projects, Draft for public comment , United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, Dec. 14, 2018


IAEA invites member states' comments on draft Schedules of Provisions of the IAEA Regulations for the Safe Transport of Radioactive Material (2018 Edition) (DS506)'

Any comments should be sent through the established official channels to the responsible IAEA officers by 30 November 2018.
> Download Note Verbale (PDF)
> Download Draft Safety Guide DS506 (2.5MB PDF)
> Download Document Preparation Profile (DPP) (102kB PDF)


IAEA invites member states' comments on draft safety guide 'Preparedness and Response for an Emergency during the Transport of Radioactive Material (DS469)'

Any comments should be sent through the established official channels to the responsible IAEA officers by 30 November 2018.
> Download Note Verbale (PDF)
> Download Draft Safety Guide DS469 (1.8MB PDF)
> Download Document Preparation Profile (DPP) (146kB PDF)


IAEA invites member states' comments on draft safety guide 'Remediation Process for Areas Affected by Past Activities and Accidents (DS468)'

Any comments should be sent through the established official channels to the responsible IAEA officer by 26 May 2017.
> Download: Note verbale, Jan. 24, 2017 (181k PDF)
> Download: Draft Safety Guide DS468 (874k PDF)
> Download: Document Preparation Profile (DPP) (85k PDF)


IAEA invites member states' comments on draft safety guide 'Management of Radioactive Residues from Uranium Production and Other NORM Activities (DS459)'

Any comments should be sent through the established official channels to the responsible IAEA officer by 7 December 2016.
> Download: Note verbale, Aug. 9, 2016 (206k PDF)
> Download: Draft Safety Guide DS459 (606k PDF)
> Download: Document Preparation Profile (DPP) (36k PDF)


IAEA issues Draft General Safety Guide on Functions and Processes of the Regulatory Body for Safety

> View here


IAEA issues Draft General Safety Guide on Organization, Management and Staffing of a Regulatory Body for Safety

> View here


WHO raises drinking water guideline for uranium to 30 micrograms per litre

In the fourth edition of its Guidelines for Drinking-water Quality, the WHO raised the Provisional guideline value for uranium from 15 to 30 micrograms per litre.
"The provisional guideline value of 30 g/l, which is derived from new epidemiological studies on populations exposed to high uranium concentrations, replaces the previous value derived from experimental animal studies and designated as provisional on the basis of uncertainties regarding the toxicology and epidemiology of uranium as well as difficulties concerning its technical achievability in smaller supplies. It is noted that studies on human populations, when available and of good quality, are the preferred source of health-related information to be used in deriving guideline values." [emphasis added]
> Download Guidelines for Drinking-water Quality, Fourth Edition , World Health Organization, 2011

> See also: Chemical hazards in drinking-water - Uranium (WHO)
> See also: Scientists call peers to establish independent recommendations in view of latest increase of WHO's drinking-water guideline for uranium and other inorganic toxic substances
> See also: Scientists expose inconsistency of chemical and radiological WHO guidelines for uranium in drinking water
> See also: Scientists raise serious concerns over latest increase of WHO's drinking-water guideline for uranium
> See also: WHO once more weakens drinking water standard for uranium


IAEA concerned that tracking of uranium may not be assured as many new players enter uranium business

The International Atomic Energy Agency is concerned that a doubling in the price of uranium has attracted so many miners to the sector that inspectors may not be able to keep track of the new supplies, The Times has learnt. The IAEA’s fear is that uranium could fall into the hands of terrorists or hostile nations if it cannot control new mine production. (The Times Dec. 26, 2006)


Areva/Cogema sees "moral obligation" for uranium mining countries to take back spent fuel

The world's number two uranium miner, Areva Group , says countries which sell uranium have a moral obligation to store the waste (i.e. spent fuel), even if the uranium is exported.
Arguing the case for the acceptance of uranium mining in Australia to a federal committee (see details), France-based Areva said if uranium is mined and exported in Australia the waste should be transported back for storage. "I think we probably do have a moral obligation," said Stephen Mann, general manager of Cogema Australia, Areva's mining subsidiary in Australia. (Asia Pulse Sep. 23, 2005)


WHO once more weakens drinking water standard for uranium

In September 2004, WHO revised its provisional guideline value for uranium in drinking water from 9 g/l to 15 g/l. The change is based on a revision of the allocation of the tolerable daily intake to drinking water from 50% to 80%.

WHO Guidelines for drinking-water quality, third edition, 2004

Uranium in Drinking-water, Background document for development of WHO Guidelines for Drinking-water Quality (172k PDF) · updated June 2005 (192k PDF)

In January 2003, WHO had revised its provisional guideline value for uranium in drinking water from 2 g/l to 9 g/l. The change was based on a revision of the allocation of the tolerable daily intake to drinking water from 10% to 50%.

See also: Uranium Ingestion: Current Standards


IAEA Research Project on Uranium Mill Tailings Management

IAEA has conducted a four-year co-ordinated research project (CRP) on the management of uranium mill tailings.
"This CRP is proposed as one step towards raising the awareness of potential problems and assisting Member States in the development of efficient procedures and processes for the sustainable long-term management and, if deemed appropriate, remediation of uranium mining/milling waste sites, and to encourage a harmonized and systematic approach where feasible. "
> See: Co-ordinated Research Project (CRP) on technologies and methods for long term stabilization and isolation of uranium mill tailings, Project Brief

The final report was released on September 10, 2004:
The Long-Term Stabilization of Uranium Mill Tailings, Final report of a co-ordinated research project 2000-2004, IAEA-TECDOC-1403, ISBN 92-0-108904-X, Vienna, August 2004, 311 p.
> Download full report (7.5MB PDF)


IAEA is preparing new safety guide for uranium mining wastes and mill tailings

"The problems caused by wastes from the mining and milling of uranium and thorium ores affect many countries and in some they have not been well managed. The wastes are in the form of large volumes of low-activity concentration materials containing radionuclides with very long radioactive half-lives. In many countries the wastes are stored at the surface in large piles and represent a long-term potential health and environmental hazard. Because of the large volumes, radiologically effective waste management solutions are usually difficult and expensive. Issues of long-term radiation protection arise in devising appropriate strategies for the management of these wastes. A new Safety Guide is in preparation on the management of these wastes; this will be an update of Safety Series No. 85 issued in 1987."
[IAEA Bulletin Vol.40 No.2, June 1998 , p.17]

 


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