BIOPROTA Report on Issues Affecting the Assessment of Impacts of Disposal of Radioactive and Hazardous Waste

James Wilson, along with Quintessa associates Mike Thorne and Graham Smith have contributed to a recent BIOPROTA report published by the Norwegian Radiological Protection Authority entitled: "Issues Affecting the Assessment of Impacts of Disposal of Radioactive and Hazardous Waste". BIOPROTA is an international collaboration forum that seeks to address key uncertainties in the long-term assessment of environmental and human health impacts arising from the release of radionuclides and other contaminants as a result of radioactive waste management practices. The work was financially supported by Low Level Waste Repository Ltd (LLWR, UK), Norwegian Radiation Protection Authority (NRPA), Nuclear Waste Management Organization of Japan (NUMO), Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO, Canada), POSIVA (Finland), and the Swedish Nuclear Fuel and Waste Management Company (SKB). The report reviews the approaches available for assessing hazards and resulting risks associated with non-radiological (chemotoxic) substances and compares them with those typically applied to radiological hazards. The key objective of the study was to consider all relevant issues for the assessment of radioactive and hazardous waste disposals in order to define and facilitate further steps in the development of consistent approaches and methods. The report suggests that there are several ways in which assessment methods could be better aligned, so that choices between options can be made on a more equitable basis and more appropriately reported than at present.