Effluent and emissions monitoring programs at nuclear facilities
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This is the second edition of CSA N288.5, Effluent and emissions monitoring programs at nuclear facilities. It supersedes the previous edition published in 2011, under the title Effluent monitoring programs at Class I nuclear facilities and uranium mines and mills. It is part of a series of Standards and guidelines on environmental management of nuclear facilities.
The major changes in this edition include
a) alignment with the CSA N288 series of Standards; and
b) improved guidance and clarity.
This Standard addresses the design, implementation, and management of an effluent and emissions monitoring program that meets legal and business requirements and incorporates current best practices and technologies used internationally.
CSA N286 provides overall direction to management to develop and implement sound management practices and controls, while the other CSA Group Nuclear Standards provide technical requirements and guidance that support the management system. This Standard works in harmony with CSA N286 and does not duplicate the generic requirements of CSA N286; however, it might provide more specific direction for those requirements.
Users of this Standard are reminded that the design, manufacture, construction, commissioning, operation, and decommissioning of nuclear facilities in Canada are subject to the provisions of the Nuclear Safety and Control Act and its supporting Regulations.
Use of this Standard occurs in conjunction with CSA N288.0, which captures those requirements that are common across the CSA N288 series Standards. These include requirements on
a) criteria for determining the need to establish a monitoring program;
b) design of a monitoring program, including the use of a systematic planning process;
c) sampling and analytical procedures;
d) interpretation of data;
e) QA and QC;
f) reporting, review, and audit;
g) staff qualifications and training; and
Note: Any requirements pertaining to these elements that are not common across the CSA N288 series Standards but are specific to an effluent and emissions monitoring program are addressed in this Standard.
1.2.1 Types of facilities
This Standard addresses the design and operation of effluent and emissions monitoring programs for nuclear facilities. These facilities include
a) nuclear reactors;
b) uranium mines, mills, refineries, and conversion plants;
c) uranium fuel fabrication plants;
d) isotope processing facilities;
e) particle accelerators with a beam energy equal to or greater than 50 MeV; and
f) waste management facilities.
Note: On-site conventional waste management facilities (e.g., landfills, incinerators, and sewage treatment plants handling non-radioactive material) are included in the scope of this Standard.
Parts of this Standard could also be relevant to the design and operation of effluent and emissions monitoring programs for
a) Class II nuclear facilities;
b) institutions operating under the authority of a Nuclear Substances and Radiation Devices licence;
c) facilities that use or store naturally occurring radioactive materials; and
d) low-level effluents or emissions of nuclear and hazardous substances released to the environment due to existing exposure situations such as those resulting from the contamination of areas with radioactive materials produced or used in past activities.
Note: In these situations, the operator of the facility or institution is responsible for determining the applicability and suitability of this Standard in consultation with the AHJ.
1.2.2 Facility lifecycle
The nature and extent of effluent and emissions monitoring requirements change over the lifecycle of the facility. This Standard addresses monitoring performed during
a) site preparation, construction, and commissioning;
c) decommissioning; and
d) any period of institutional control that might follow closure of the facility.
1.3 Operating conditions
The monitoring described in this Standard is applicable where nuclear and hazardous substances might be released to the environment as the result of the normal operation of a nuclear facility or licensed activity.
Note: Any release resulting from a deviation from routine operational practice that is expected to occur once or several times during the operating lifetime of a nuclear facility or licensed activity (i.e., reasonably foreseeable upset events, also known as anticipated operational occurrences including leaks and spills) is considered part of normal operation.
1.4 Contaminants and other characteristics
This Standard provides guidance on effluent and emissions monitoring for nuclear and hazardous substances and physical characteristics of the effluent or emission, as identified in the ERA, EMS, and/or determined by the AHJ. These can include one or more of the following:
a) nuclear substances such as radionuclides or radioactive substances;
b) hazardous substances such as toxic, corrosive, or environmentally deleterious substances, and chemical characteristics such as pH;
c) physical characteristics such as temperature, volume, or density; and
d) biological characteristics such as toxicity or fecal coliform.
This Standard addresses monitoring intended to provide ascertained (measured) or estimated (unmeasured) release quantities and concentrations associated with continuous or intermittent releases of nuclear or hazardous substances emitted during normal operation.
Note: Reasonably foreseeable upset events are included within normal operations but this Standard does not address releases that result from accidents.
1.6 Compliance and process monitoring
This Standard addresses monitoring performed for regulatory purposes (compliance monitoring).
Some of the guidance in this Standard can be applied to monitoring performed for the sole benefit or use of the operator (process monitoring), in which case it might not be necessary to apply the same degree of rigour or QA to process monitoring as would be necessary for compliance monitoring. As such, it might not be necessary to apply the guidance on interpretation of data (Clause 9 of this Standard and CSA N288.0), QA (Clause 10 of this Standard and CSA N288.0), and reporting (CSA N288.0) to process monitoring. For all Clauses, it is the responsibility of the operator to determine if a particular requirement is appropriate for process monitoring in a given situation.
1.7 Interpretation of data
Guidance on the interpretation of data collected by an effluent and emissions monitoring program is provided in CSA N288.0. Any additional guidance specific to an effluent and emissions monitoring program is provided in this Standard.
Users are cautioned that the AHJ can impose requirements regarding data analysis and interpretation that differ from those described in this Standard and in CSA N288.0. The operator of the nuclear facility or a licensed activity is responsible for determining what data analysis and interpretation is necessary to ensure compliance with AHJ requirements.
Guidance on reporting the results of a monitoring program is provided in CSA N288.0. Any additional requirements specific to an effluent and emissions monitoring program are provided in this Standard. However, users are cautioned that AHJs can impose reporting requirements that differ from those described in this Standard. The operator of the nuclear facility or licensed activity is responsible for determining the required frequency and content of reports to AHJs necessary to ensure compliance.
Note: The CNSC, Metal and Diamond Mining Effluent Regulations (MDMER), National Pollutant Release Inventory (NPRI), and Effluent Monitoring Effluent Limits (EMEL) are examples of agencies or programs through which reporting is performed.
1.9.1 Monitoring during accidental releases
This Standard does not address effluents or emissions that can occur during accidental releases, although some parts of this Standard might be applicable to the monitoring of the releases from such an event. In these cases, the operator of the nuclear facility or licensed activity is responsible for determining the applicability of this Standard.
1.9.2 Solid waste
This Standard does not address the disposal of solid waste, which can include raw solid waste and waste immobilized in a solid matrix (e.g., cement, bitumen, or mine tailings). Nevertheless, airborne emissions or waterborne effluents released from solid waste management facilities are addressed in this Standard.
1.9.3 Dose assessment
Although one of the objectives of an effluent and emissions monitoring program may be to provide the data required to support radiation dose assessments or assessments of exposure to hazardous substances, this Standard does not address dose assessment methods for either humans or non-human biota.
In this Standard, shall is used to express a requirement, i.e., a provision that the user is obliged to satisfy in order to comply with the Standard; should is used to express a recommendation or that which is advised but not required; and may is used to express an option or that which is permissible within the limits of the Standard.
Notes accompanying clauses do not include requirements or alternative requirements; the purpose of a note accompanying a clause is to separate from the text explanatory or informative material.
Notes to tables and figures are considered part of the table or figure and may be written as requirements.
Annexes are designated normative (mandatory) or informative (non-mandatory) to define their application.
In this Standard, shall be considered or shall consider means the user is required to consider the possibility, make a decision, and document the reason(s) for that decision.
Note: Examples of decisions can include no action, operating procedures, and design features.