Clearance is an essential part of material management especially in decommissioning of nuclear installations in Germany. Therefore, a system of clearance options has been put in place which provides waste producers with a number of ways to release the material (metal scrap, building rubble, buildings, sites) from regulatory control. There is a tiered system of clearance levels (one set for each clearance option) which generally increase from the unconditional clearance to clearance for disposal only. Under German law, there are only two options for material management: clearance or disposal as radioactive waste in a (planned) deep geological repository. Because of the vast difference in costs, the material is brought to clearance to the greatest extent possible. The application of the new clearance regulations of the Radiation Protection Ordinance (RPO) of 2001 in actual German D&D projects is well under way. Nuclear power plants which are currently undergoing decommissioning (e.g. KWW at Wu¨rgassen, KMK at Mu¨lheim-Ka¨rlich) or which will enter decommissioning soon (e.g. KKS at Stade) have already applied or will apply these clearance regulations. This also pertains to ongoing decommissioning projects (e.g. KGR at Greifswald) which are seeking a change from their old regulations. One of the main reasons is that the new system offers considerable flexibility and extended possibilities to optimise the material management. Application of the clearance levels requires some additional provisions like averaging mass and averaging surface area, a summation rule for cases where more than one radionuclide is present, and a cut-off criterion of 10% total dose contribution for those radionuclides which have very small activities or which are radiologically irrelevant.

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