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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] 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] 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] 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] 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] Coarse particulate matter (PM10) concentrations and chemical composition were monitored from 2014 to 2017 at three sampling sites in the Metropolitan Region of Rio de Janeiro, namely Botafogo, Gávea, and Gericinó. All sites are located close to the 2016 Olympic Game arenas. The average annual PM10 concentrations were above the limits recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) at all sampling sites. Of all the analyzed water-soluble ions, the highest concentrations were obtained for NO3-, SO42-, Cl- and Na+. Sulfate displayed a higher anthropic contribution (ca. 70%). Iron and copper were present in all samples, originated from soil resuspension and traffic (fuels and brakes, among others). Overall, civil works to restructure the city and the construction of the Olympic Game arenas increased PM10 and some of its constituent levels prior to 2016. After the Olympic Games, PM10 concentrations have decreased, due to governmental policies regarding traffic planning and civil work finalization. (author)
[en] Using geoprocessing techniques and Geographic Information Systems (GIS), it is possible to integrate data from different sources to describe environmental scenarios and represent them spatially. In this way, this work combined information available on literature to present an environmental analysis for Fidalgo, in Minas Gerais. In this region, there is a unique dimension stone resource called Lagoa Santa rock, used for ornamental purposes, and related mining works are the main economic activity even though the area has environmental protection laws. Both the lack of waste disposal planning and the lack of generated eluent treatment results in environmental impacts that directly affect Lagoa Santa Karst. The geoprocessing software helped on the diagnosis and characterization of impacted areas, as well as on commissioning of different negative effects produced by the processing of Lagoa Santa rock. The antagonism among environmental and mining activities living in Fidalgo results in a polarization of opinions, showing that although environmental relevance is unquestionable, the permission of land use should be better deined by the Government. (author)
[en] The Horonobe Underground Research Laboratory (URL) Project is being pursued by the Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA) to enhance the reliability of relevant disposal technologies for geological disposal of High-level Radioactive Waste through investigations of the deep geological environment within the host sedimentary rock at Horonobe Town in Hokkaido, north Japan. The investigations will be conducted in three phases, namely 'Phase 1: Surface based investigations', 'Phase 2: Construction phase' (investigations during construction of the underground facilities) and 'Phase 3: Operation phase' (research in the underground facilities). According to the research plan described in the 3rd Mid- and Long-term Plan of JAEA, 'Near-field performance study', 'Demonstration of repository design option', and 'Verification of crustal-movement buffering capacity of sedimentary rocks' are important issues of the Horonobe URL Project, and schedule of future research and backfill plans of the project will be decided by the end of 2019 Fiscal Year. The present report summarizes the research and development activities of these 3 important issues carried out during 3rd Medium to Long-term Research Phase. (author)
[en] An uncertainty in the relationship between aerosol optical depth (AOD) and fine particulate matter (PM2.5) comes from the uncertainty of AOD by aerosol models and the estimated surface reflectance, a mismatch in spatiotemporal resolution, integration of AOD and PM2.5 data, and data modeling. In this study, an integrated geographically temporally weighted regression (GTWR) and RANdom SAmple Consensus (RANSAC) models, which provide fine goodness-of-fit between observed PM2.5 and AOD data, were used for mapping of PM2.5 over Taiwan for the year 2014. For this, dark target (DT) AOD observations at 3-km resolution (DT3K) only for high-quality assurance flag (QA = 3) were obtained from the scientific data set (SDS) “Optical_Depth_Land_And_Ocean”. AOD observations were also obtained from the merged DT and DB (deep blue) product (DTB3K) which was generated using the simplified merge scheme (SMS), i.e., using an average of the DT and DB highest quality AOD retrievals or the available one. The GTWR model integrated with RANSAC can use the effective sampling and fitting to overcome the estimation problem of AOD-PM2.5 with the uncertainty and outliers of observation data. Results showed that the model dealing with spatiotemporal heterogeneity and uncertainty is a powerful tool to infer patterns of PM2.5 from a RANSAC subset samples. Moreover, spatial variability and hotspot analysis were applied after PM2.5 mapping. The hotspot and spatial variability of PM2.5 maps can give us a summary of the spatiotemporal patterns of PM2.5 variations.
[en] Coffee is perhaps one of the most vital ingredients in humans’ daily life in modern world. However, this causes the production of million tons of relevant wastes, i.e., plastic cups, aluminum capsules, coffee chaff (silver skin), and spent coffee grounds (SCG), all thrown untreated into landfills. It is estimated that 1 kg of instant coffee generates around 2 kg of wet SCG; a relatively unique organic waste stream, with little to no contamination, separated directly in the source by the coffee shops. The produced waste has been under researchers’ microscope as a useful feedstock for a number of promising applications. SCG is considered a valuable, nutrients rich source of bioactive compounds (e.g., phenolics, flavonoids, carotenoids, lipids, chlorogenic and protocatechuic acid, melanoidins, diterpenes, xanthines, vitamin precursors, etc.) and a useful resource material in other processes (e.g., soil improver and compost, heavy metals absorbent, biochar, biodiesel, pellets, cosmetics, food, and deodorization products). This paper aims to provide a holistic approach for the SCG waste management, highlighting a series of processes and applications in environmental solutions, food industry, and agricultural sector. Thus, the latest developments and approaches of SCG waste management are reviewed and discussed.