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TOWARDS A RATIONAL METHODOLOGY TO PROTECT WATER SUPPLIES IN CASE OF NUCLEAR EVENT

Congress: 2008
Author(s): Claval D. Mercat-Rommens C.
D. CLAVAL1, C. MERCAT-ROMMENS2 1 ONECTRA Lieu-dit les Tomples BP45 F-26701 Pierralatte cedex dclaval@onet.fr 2Institut de Radioprotection et de Sûreté Nucléaire IRSN/DEI/SESURE/LERCM, BAT 153, CE Cadarache F-13115 Saint-Paul-lès-Durance catherin

Keyword(s): radioactive contamination , water supplies , operationel strategy, vulnerability
AbstractIn case of radioactive contamination of the environment (normal discharges during industrial operation, accidental discharges or ill will acts), there is a lack of operational strategy to assess the vulnerability of water resources. Our proposition is to use the concept of radioecological sensitivity to classify the vulnerability of water supplies. This concept suggests that the consequences of a radioactive contamination can be partly assessed by anticipation based on the knowledge of environmental characteristics and human uses characteristics that mainly influence the level of contamination by a radioactive pollutant. These characteristics are called the sensitivity factors and they are constituted of the territorial characteristics which most influence the transfer of radioactive pollutants from releases point to human beings. This study, which belongs to the SENSIB project of the French Institute for Radioprotection and Nuclear Safety, is currently developing a normalisation methodology to provide a global sensibility index for each water supply (drilling, well, surface water, rain water cistern, etc.). This index corresponds to a weighting amount of all sensitivity factors related to their respective contribution to the global contamination of water resources. The first step of the study was the identification and quantification of all the sensitivity factors. Two categories of characteristics were investigated: environmental ones such as permeability, refilling, time transfer in unsaturated zone, run-off, underground flow speed, thickness, treatment plant presence, etc. and social ones such as use frequency, water treatment, supplied population, etc. for the different water users (drinking water, bathing water, agricultural waters, etc.). Then the second step consists in the assessment of the importance of each of the characteristics investigated. This step rests mainly of analysis of expert knowledge about the radioecological comportment of radioactive pollutants in the environment. This methodological approach has been applied in 2007 in the vicinity of two nuclear sites (Chooz in North-east of France and Tricastin in the Rhône river valley).
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