Discharges from non-nuclear installations

The Radioactive Substances Strategy sets the objective of preventing pollution of the OSPAR maritime area from ionising radiation through progressive and substantial reductions of discharges, emissions and losses of radioactive substances, with the ultimate aim of concentrations in the environment near background values for naturally occurring radioactive substances and close to zero for artificial radioactive substances. In achieving this objective the following issues should, inter alia, be taken into account: (1) radiological impacts on man and biota, (2) legitimate uses of the sea, and (3) technical feasibility.

As its timeframe, the Radioactive Substances Strategy further declares that the OSPAR Commission will implement this Strategy progressively by making every endeavour, through appropriate actions and measures to ensure that by the year 2020 discharges, emissions and losses of radioactive substances are reduced to levels where the additional concentrations in the marine environment above historic levels, resulting from such discharges, emissions and losses, are close to zero.

To this end, the Radioactive Substances Strategy requires the OSPAR Commission to continue the annual collection of data on discharges from the non-nuclear sector. Regular reporting is therefore required in order to review progress towards the targets of the Radioactive Substances Strategy.

The OSPAR Commission adopted in 2005 a set of reporting procedures to be used for annual reporting of data on discharges from the non-nuclear sector which were updated in 2013 (OSPAR Agreement number 2013-11). OSPAR’s non-nuclear reporting covers;

  • the oil & gas sector, the medical sector (I-131);
  • universities and research centres (H-3, C-14, P-32, S-35, Cr-51, I-125);
  • the phosphate industry (Pb-210, Po-210, Ra-226);
  • titanium dioxide pigment manufactures (Pb-210, Po-210, Ra-226, Ra-228);
  • primary steel manufacture (Pb-210, Po-210);
  • radiochemical production (H-3, C-14, S-35, Cr-51, I-125, Pb-210, Po 210).