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CSA N288.8:17 (R2022)
This is the first edition of CSA N288.8, Establishing and implementing action levels for releases to the environment from nuclear facilities.
The purpose of this Standard is to provide requirements and guidance to develop and implement action levels for releases from a final discharge point at nuclear facilities. Compliance with this Standard will allow facilities to manage effluents in accordance with regulatory requirements.
The CSA N-Series Standards provide an interlinked set of requirements for the management of nuclear facilities and activities. The CSA N286 Standard provides overall direction to management to develop and implement sound management practices and controls while the other CSA nuclear Standards provide specific 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 can provide more specific direction for meeting those requirements.
This Standard addresses the development and implementation of action levels that incorporates best practices in Canada and internationally.
Users of this Standard are reminded that additional and site-specific requirements might be specified by federal, provincial/territorial, or municipal authorities. This Standard is not a replacement for the requirements contained in any
a) applicable federal/territorial, or provincial statute, including the Nuclear Safety and Control Act; or
b) regulation, licence, or permit issued pursuant to an applicable statute.
This Standard was prepared by the Subcommittee on Guidelines for Establishing and Implementing Environmental Action Levels to Control Emissions from Nuclear Facilities under the jurisdiction of the Technical Committee on Environmental Management for Nuclear Facilities and the Nuclear Strategic Steering Committee, and has been formally approved by the Technical Committee.
1.1.1 Types of facilities
This Standard addresses the establishment and implementation of ALs for nuclear facilities.
1) Conventional waste management facilities (e.g., landfills, incinerators, and sewage treatment plants handling non-radioactive material) that have final discharge points subject to ARLs on a nuclear facility are included in the Scope of this Standard.
2) Not all nuclear facilities will need ALs. See Clause 5for criteria on establishing ALs.
This Standard also applies to the establishment and implementation of ALs for
a) a facility that includes an irradiator that uses more than 1015 Bq of a nuclear substance;
i) an irradiator that requires shielding that is not part of the irradiator and is designed to deliver a dose of radiation at a rate exceeding 1 cGy/min at a distance of 1 m;
ii) a radioactive source teletherapy machine;
iii) a particle accelerator that is capable of producing nuclear energy and has a beam energy of less than 50 MeV for beams of particles with a mass equal to or less than 4 atomic mass units;
iv) a particle accelerator that is capable of producing nuclear energy and has a beam energy of no more than 15 MeV per atomic mass unit for beams of particles with a mass greater than 4 atomic mass units; or
v) a brachytherapy remote afterloader;
Note: This list of facilities corresponds to the definition of “Class II nuclear facility” under the Class II Nuclear Facilities and Prescribed Equipment Regulations.
b) facilities that use or store naturally occurring radioactive materials;
c) institutions operating under the authority of a nuclear substances and radiation devices license; and
d) low-level controlled effluent 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 is responsible for determining the applicability and suitability of this Standard in consultation with the AHJ.
1.1.2 Facility lifecycle
This Standard may be applied during the following phases of a facility lifecycle
a) site preparation, construction, and commissioning;
b) operations; and
1) The specifics of how an AL is developed and implemented may change over the lifecycle of the facility. For example, there is unlikely to be effluent during site preparation and construction. Therefore, ALs may be established but not implemented for that phase.
2) Elements of this Standard, such as the consideration and prospective development of ALs, may also be applicable during facility design.
3) The operational lifecycle of a nuclear facility is assumed to include storage with surveillance.
4) A facility might have a licence post-decommissioning; however, it assumed there are no longer controlled releases, and, therefore, ALs are not required.
1.2 Operating conditions
The establishment and implementation of ALs described in this Standard are applicable for contaminants and physical stressors identified in an effluent and emissions monitoring program (e.g., CSA N288.5) during normal operations over the lifecycle of a nuclear facility.
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 such as minor leaks and spills) should be assessed to determine whether it is considered part of normal operation.
1.3 Contaminants, physical stressors, and final discharge points
This Standard is to be applied to develop ALs at the final discharge point for those contaminants or physical stressors monitored in an effluent and emissions monitoring program.
Note: The effluent and emissions monitoring program is typically developed though CSA N288.5. Contaminants of potential concern (COPCs) may include nuclear or hazardous substances or physical stressors.
The physical parameter temperature is outside the scope of this Standard.
1.4 Interpretation of data
This Standard provides guidance on the interpretation of data that is relevant to the development of ALs.
Note: Users are cautioned that the statutes, regulations, licences, and permits that govern a nuclear facility can impose requirements regarding data analysis and interpretation that differ from those described in this Standard. The operator of the nuclear facility is responsible for determining what data analysis and interpretations are necessary to confirm compliance with all statutes, regulations, licences, or permits that govern the operation of the nuclear facility.
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 that the user shall consider the possibility, make a decision, and document the reason(s) for that decision.
Note: Examples of decisions can include no action, operating procedures, design features.