Numerous facilities in the non-nuclear sector in Belgium (e.g. in the non-radioactive waste processing and management sector and in the metal recycling sector) have been equipped with measuring ports for detecting radioactive substances. These measuring ports prevent radioactive sources or radioactive contamination from ending up in the material fluxes treated by the sectors concerned. They thus play an important part in the protection of the workers and the people living in the neighbourhood of the facilities, as well as in the protection of the population and the environment in general. In 2006, Belgium’s federal nuclear control agency (FANC/AFCN) drew up guidelines for the operators of non-nuclear facilities with a measuring port for detecting radioactive substances. These guidelines describe the steps to be followed by the operators when the port’s alarm goes off. Following the publication of the European guideline 2003/122/Euratom of 22 December 2003 on the control of high-activity sealed radioactive sources and orphan sources, a procedure has been drawn up by FANC/AFCN and ONDRAF/NIRAS, the Belgian National Agency for Radioactive Waste and Enriched Fissile Materials, to identify the responsible to cover the costs relating to the further management of detected sealed sources and if not found to declare the sealed source as an orphan source. In this latter case and from mid-2006 the insolvency fund managed by ONDRAF/NIRAS covers the cost of radioactive waste management. At the request of the Belgian government, a financing proposal for the management of unsealed orphan sources as radioactive waste was also established by FANC/AFCN and ONDRAF/NIRAS. This proposal applies the same approach as for sealed sources and thus the financing of unsealed orphan sources will also be covered by the insolvency fund.

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