Necsa has fully committed itself to being environment friendly through our continous environmental monitoring programme. Necsa is involved in research that helps promote a clean and healthy environment for all South Africans.
We analyse a variety of samples, from plant material to milk and wastewater, even monitoring air filter samples to ensure a clean and safe environment for the community. The samples are taken on site at Pelindaba, Necsa's Vaalputs waste disposal site, as well as in the surrounding area, and water and fish from the nearby Hartbeespoortdam and Crocodile River is monitored on an ongoing basis.
Environmental Monitoring for External Clients
Necsa also provides environmental services to external clients, such as government departments and mining companies.
During the mining process natural radionuclides can be are released into the environment. Samples are taken from mining areas, in order to monitor the progress of the natural radionuclides produced through the mining and refining processes.
In this way the mining companies can manage their mining activities in order to minimise their effect on the environment. Environmental impact studies are also performed prior to new industrial development.
Testing of Building Materials
We test both raw materials that are used in the manufacture of building materials such as bricks and gypsum boards, as well as the final building products, in order to determine the natural radionuclide content, and evaluate the risk to the public.
Environmental Monitoring Programme
A comprehensive Environmental Monitoring Programme is in place to meet the requirements of the Air Quality Act, the Nuclear Energy Act, the National Environmental Management Act and the National Water Act. Resource usage, waste generation, and impacts on media and ecology are monitored and illustrated in the following sections.
Compliance with Water Permit Requirements
Compliance is measured against the current water permit (Permit No. 1874B). The following table reflects the effluent generated from October 2011 to September 2012.
The following table reflects the water consumption for the period April 2011 – March 2012.
Compliance with Air Permit Requirements
The total fluoride emission was 64.7% less than the previous year and the monthly site limit was not exceeded during the year.
Compliance with Environmental Requirements of the Nuclear Licence
No nuclear occurrences related to environmental monitoring were reported to the NNR during the period 1 April 2011 to 31 March 2012.
The 2011 calendar year modelled dose to the public, based on actual releases, was 0.007 millisieverts (mSv) for the liquid pathways of authorised releases to the Crocodile River and 0.002 mSv for gaseous releases, giving a total of 0.009 mSv. Comparative figures for the previous year were respectively 0.005 mSv and 0.004 mSv resulting in a total of 0.009 mSv. The data shows there is no significant dose impact on the environment due to Necsa’s activities.
The Environmental Monitoring Programme at Vaalputs was in full compliance with sample reporting levels and no nuclear occurrences were registered.