CSA N288.7:15 (R2020)
Groundwater protection programs at Class I nuclear facilities and uranium mines and mills
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This is the first edition of CSA N288.7 Groundwater protection programs at Class I nuclear facilities and uranium mines and mills.
The purpose of this Standard is to provide requirements and guidance which facilitate groundwater protection at Class 1 nuclear facilities and uranium mines and mills. Compliance with the Standard will allow facilities to demonstrate that they will not pose an unreasonable risk to the environment or the health and safety of humans and non-human biota from groundwater.
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 may provide more specific direction for meeting those requirements.
This Standard addresses the design, implementation, and management of a groundwater protection program 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 should not be considered 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, license, or permit issued pursuant to an applicable statute.
This Standard was prepared by the Subcommittee on Groundwater Protection Programs at Class I Nuclear Facilities and Uranium Mines and Mills 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 design and operation of GWPPs for Class I nuclear facilities and uranium mines and mills.
1) In this Standard, any type of Class I nuclear facility and uranium mine and mill (refer to the definition of nuclear facility in Clause 3.1) is included in the term nuclear facilities.
2) Conventional waste management facilities on a Class I nuclear facility (or uranium mine and mill) are included in the scope of this Standard.
3) The applicability and suitability of this Standard to nuclear facilities will require professional judgment, knowledge of the relevant geological and hydrogeological conditions (e.g., travel time, position of freshwater aquifers, etc.), and validation of the CSM. For example, due to the potentially different environment encountered at great depths, portions of this Standard are likely not applicable to all aspects of deep subsurface facilities. Groundwater protection for such Class I facilities will be assured in the permitting and licensing process, and portions of this Standard can be used as applicable.
4) Not all Class I nuclear facilities and uranium mines and mills will need a GWPP. See Clause 5 on criteria for establishing a GWPP.
This Standard may also apply to the design and operation of GWPPs for
a) Class II nuclear facilities; and
b) facilities that use or store naturally occurring radioactive materials.
Note: In these situations, however, the operator of the nuclear facility is responsible for determining the applicability and suitability of this Standard in consultation with the AHJ.
1.1.2 Facility lifecycle
This Standard addresses monitoring performed during
a) baseline characterization
b) site preparation, construction, and commissioning
d) refurbishment or restarting after a prolonged shut-down
e) decommissioning and
f) post-decommissioning prior to abandonment and institutional control.
Note: The nature and extent of groundwater monitoring requirements change over the lifecycle of the facility.
1.2 Operating conditions
1.2.1 Monitoring during normal operations
The monitoring described in this Standard is applicable where nuclear and hazardous substances might be released to groundwater 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, also known as anticipated operational occurrences including leaks and spills) is considered part of normal operation. This definition of operating conditions is consistent with usage in CSA N288.4, CSA N288.5, and CSA N288.6.
1.2.2 Monitoring during accidental releases
This Standard does not address groundwater monitoring during accidental releases.
1) Monitoring during accidental releases is not included in this standard due to the emergent and highly specific nature of such events. Planning to mitigate impacts to groundwater from accidental releases is important and parts of this Standard may be used in this planning.
2) Some parts of this Standard might be applicable to the monitoring of groundwater following an accidental release. In these cases, the operator of the nuclear facility is responsible for determining the applicability of this Standard.
1.3 Spill response and the management of the spill event
This Standard does not address spill response and the management of the spill event; however, if there is residual contamination to groundwater then this Standard would apply.
Note: A facility should have in place a spill response plan to address the immediate response to spills. Some parts of the Standard are applicable to the longer term monitoring of groundwater following a spill event.
1.4 Contaminants and physical characteristics
This Standard considers the following COPCs or groundwater characteristics that might cause potential adverse effects:
a) hazardous substances such as toxic, corrosive, or deleterious substances;
b) nuclear substances; and
c) geochemical (e.g., groundwater quality) and physical characteristics of groundwater (e.g., groundwater quantity or temperature).
1.5.1 Leak detection
This Standard addresses
a) the role of monitoring in relation to leak detection, although this monitoring does not replace leak prevention
b) review of structures, systems, and components (SSCs), and sentinel monitoring to provide early warning of any potential groundwater contamination issues, notwithstanding technical limitations (see Clause 6.3.4) and
c) to a limited degree, repair, preventative maintenance, and ageing of monitoring equipment.
1.5.2 Mixed effluent and groundwater
This Standard does not address groundwater that is intercepted, collected, mixed with an effluent stream, and subsequently discharged.
Note: Monitoring of that effluent is discussed in and is part of CSA N288.5, as outlined in Clause 1.5.2 of CSA N288.5 (see Clause 0.6 of this Standard).
1.6 Interpretation of data
The Standard provides guidance on the interpretation of groundwater monitoring data, relative to the objectives of the GWMP.
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 the Standard. The operator of the nuclear facility is responsible for determining what data analysis and interpretation are necessary to confirm compliance with the statutes, regulations, licences, or permits that govern the operation of the nuclear facility.
1.7 Risk management and remediation
This Standard does not provide guidance on risk management or remediation.
Note: This Standard provides guidance to identify situations where risk management and remediation might be needed to protect identified receptors, but does not provide further advice on selecting or implementing risk management or remediation options.
1.8 Dose assessment methods
This Standard does not address dose assessment methods.
1) The GWMP does provide information for the groundwater pathway and input for dose assessment.
2) It is anticipated that dose assessment might be one of the tools used in either interpreting groundwater data or in defining groundwater evaluation criteria for the program.
3) Guidance on dose assessment methods is provided in CSA N288.6.
This Standard provides guidance on reporting the results of a GWMP.
Note: Users are cautioned that the statutes, regulations, licences, and permits that govern a nuclear facility might impose reporting requirements that differ from those described in the Standard. The operator of the nuclear facility is responsible for determining the required frequency and content of reports to regulatory agencies necessary to confirm compliance with the 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 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 explanatory or informative material 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.