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[en] Due to the operation of TRIGA reactor, post-irradiation examination laboratory, radioactive waste treatment plant on Institute for Nuclear Research (INR) site it is mandatory to assess the radiological impact of these activities. Institute for Nuclear Research has implemented an Environmental Monitoring Program in compliance to the Romanian Regulatory Body requirements. The Environmental Monitoring Program includes on-site and off-site sampling locations for soil, vegetation, surface water, underground water. The location types used in the Monitoring Program can be divided into four distinct categories: indicator locations, background locations, control locations and supplementary locations. The current paper presents the gross beta measurement results in environmental samples (soil and vegetation) monitored during the period 2014-2018. The gross beta activity concentration monitoring in environmental samples in the surroundings of a nuclear facility is necessary to be performed according with the regulatory requirements, to prove that nuclear activities haven’t a negative impact on the environment and population. (author).
[en] Highlights: • Geochemical modeling, and particularly chemical thermodynamics, is particularly important in performance assessment. • The NEA TDB Project provides a database of high quality, used extensively worldwide. • Several national nuclear programs have drawn heavily on the NEA TDB as a basis upon which they built their own datasets. • The NEA TDB could be envisioned as an approach that could potentially be used in broader areas of environmental interest, nuclear and beyond. - Abstract: For the last 30 years, the NEA Thermochemical Database (TDB) Project (www.oecd-nea.org/dbtdb/) has been developing a chemical thermodynamic database for elements relevant to the safety of radioactive waste repositories, providing data that are vital to support the geochemical modeling of such systems. The recommended data are selected on the basis of strict review procedures and are characterized by their consistency. The results of these efforts are freely available, and have become an international point of reference in the field. As a result, a number of important national initiatives with regard to waste management programs have used the NEA TDB as their basis, both in terms of recommended data and guidelines. In this article we describe the fundamentals and achievements of the project together with the characteristics of some databases developed in national nuclear waste disposal programs that have been influenced by the NEA TDB. We also give some insights on how this work could be seen as an approach to be used in broader areas of environmental interest.
[en] This study was conducted to assess the effect of fungal communities and their interaction with bacterial communities on the dissolved organic matter (DOM) transformation for the stability and safety of sludge composting. The results showed that fungal community had strong shifts in diverse stages of sludge composting along with the changes of temperature. Correlation analysis demonstrated that fungal communities had significant connections with bacterial communities during composting but were not directly related to the indicators of phytotoxicity and maturity. Variance partitioning analysis suggested that the interactions of fungal and bacterial communities had the biggest contribution (49.75%) to composting stability and safety. Based on structural equation modeling, the possible way of fungal community participated in the transformation of DOM components and the formation of humic-like substances of DOM by interacting with bacterial community was proposed, which will provide important information for understanding the biotic interaction in composting and improving composting fermentation process.
[en] The siting of geological disposal facilities for the spent fuel is essential to ensure the proper long-term isolation of the radionuclides from the biosphere. However, the large number of factors involved - being: long-term safety, socio-economic-environmental viability and technical feasibility; - Associated with the enormous geographic space available for the deployment of the repository, the decision-making process complex. The study applied a methodology of multi criteria spatial decision analysis to the geographic region of the state of Minas Gerais. In order to identify, classify and exclude regions of interest for the installation of a geological repository. The results indicate good possibilities of adequate areas for a repository and it was compared with a similar study carried out in the state of Rio de Janeiro. It was concluded that new studies of geological surveys and the inclusion of new data are needed. (author)
[en] With increasing metal prices and declining ore grades, new mines are getting larger and mine waste disposal and management have become more difficult, particularly from an environmental perspective. While technologies keep on improving, the available space for terrestrial mine waste disposal is limited. Thus, several coastal countries still consider deep-sea tailings placement (DSTP) as a viable option. This brief review compares the environmental impacts of DSTP versus on-land disposal and suggests several factors to consider in selecting the most suitable options for mine waste disposal.
[en] Palestine, being a developing country, faces lots of obstacles and deficiencies in the existing solid waste management (SWM) field. In wake of these circumstances, it seems hard for the public sector to run sustainable SWM systems. The overall objective of the research presented in this paper was to study the current status of the SWM field in the West Bank of Palestine under the perspective of potential private sector involvement. For this purpose, twelve Joint Service Councils (JSCs) for solid waste management were investigated. Out of them, only two are currently having a Public–Private Partnership (PPP) contract for the management and operation of the transfer station and the sanitary landfill. On the other hand, two JSCs are currently making arrangements and implementing studies for future PPPs on waste-to-energy, biowaste management and recycling projects. Jenin and Tubas Joint Service Council (JSC) had 3-month-duration PPP contract for the implementation of a recycling project, which is a worst case scenario as it failed to meet its objectives. The parameters that could encourage JSCs or ease the implementation of PPP in local SWM field are analysed. Overall conclusion is that sustainability can be accelerated once the government—represented by the Ministry of Local Government (MoLG)—is involved; providing legal support to local authorities and incentives to potential contractors in order to encourage them to join PPPs. Parameters that are believed to facilitate PPPs include the following: development or updating existing laws and regulations, facilitation of licensing procedures, and activation of the Investment Promotion Law. Feasibility and market analysis study implementation will indicate the appropriate actions required locally to achieve environmental and financial sustainability in all contracted PPPs.
[en] The acceleration of large gully erosion in the loess environments of China is a matter of concern because of the changing land use and urban expansion. This paper evaluates the gully head retreat and landfill rates in the Huoxianggou watershed in the loess region of China for the period between 1969 and 2017. High-resolution satellite imageries and ground truths allowed us to estimate the linear and volumetric change rates of gully head. The digital elevation model (DEM) derived from unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) was used to calculate the geometric parameters of the gully bottom, and the linear and volumetric gully parameters were obtained using the 1969, 2004 and 2017 satellite images of the study area. We estimated the average annual linear retreat rate (Rl) for the study area between 1969 and 2003; Rl was found to be 1.41 ± 0.98 m y−1, the average annual volumetric retreat rate (RV) was 63.79 ± 96.62 m3 y−1, the average annual linear fill rate (Fl) was 3.87 ± 4.09 m y−1, and the average annual volumetric fill rate (FV) was 1002.46 ± 1633.87 m3 y−1. Between 2004 and 2017, Rl was 0.82 ± 0.80 m y−1, RV was 1.80 ± 1.37 m3 y−1, Fl was 3.86 ± 4.99 m y−1, and FV was 708.62 ± 1787.21 m3 y−1. We also estimated the retreat and fill rate of gullies within various land use classes. When the land use type near the gully head was road, the volumetric retreat rate of the gully was threefold that of the farmland, and the rate of the gully head landfill was fourfold that of the farmland. Moreover, the volumetric change rate (CV) and linear change rate (Cl) of all gully heads under the influence of a road, including gully retreat and landfill, had a power exponential relationship (CV = 13.29 Cl2.14, R2 = 0.71). The gullies near the roads in the thick loess area were cut at an abnormally rapid rate, which has not received sufficient attention previously. Therefore, the effect of road construction on gully erosion in the loess area of China should be reassessed.
[en] Making good environmental damage caused by industrial accidents and restoring impaired ecosystems may be associated with high costs. The European Environmental Liability Directive requires that environmental damage is prevented or remediated and confers financial liability on operators responsible for the activities that caused the damage. The directive encourages adoption of financial risk instruments for environmental liability, ensuring that operators stand up for their responsibilities. We analyse the risk financing instruments for environmental liability in Italy, with emphasis on waste treatment and disposal plant management in Venice Metropolitan City, where financial guarantees and environmental insurance are mandatory. The regional legislation obliges operators of waste treatment plants to seek financial protection through financial guarantees and environmental insurance. We have conducted online survey and in-depth interviews with both suppliers and users of financial protection instruments. On national level, the relatively high environmental consciousness is countered by a low perception of risk and subsequently very low penetration of financial security instruments. Among the identified barriers, we have singled out a limited knowledge of cumulative and long-lasting impacts of industrial activities on environment and ecosystems. Financial and insurance are well developed, but a deep support for specific risk identification and coverage lacks. A closer cooperation between public and private sector can be an opportunity to foster the adoption of these instruments and to improve the coverage of public costs for environmental restoration, due to unattended liability.
[en] Since 1991, The European Commission considers Construction and Demolition Waste as one of the six priority waste streams, however it is not until the publication of the Waste Framework Directive that it prioritizes the prevention and reuse of waste instead the waste disposal in landfills. Currently, the building sector and the energy and industry sector generate around 50% of the waste produced in Europe and in particular the CDW represent 33% of the waste generated, assuming in the last decade about 827 million of tons of CDW on average per year, of which only 50% were recycled. In Spain, all this has led the Administration to promote a series of measures, such as those included in Royal Decree 105/2008, which require selecting and recovering some types of CDW that exceed some quantities. In spite of this, Spain continues being one of the main producer of construction and demolition waste in the European Union, presenting, in addition, a reduced level of recovery (around 30-40%) and very far from the objective of the Directive Waste Framework for the year 2020 (recovery of 70% of non-hazardous CDW...