Public participation possible for Heerema licence for decommissioning mining installations with natural radioactivity

The Authority for Nuclear Safety and Radiation Protection (ANVS) has authorised Heerema B.V. to decommission mining installations with natural radioactivity at its location at Belgiëweg Oost 1 in Nieuwdorp. Our draft licence explains how to do this safely. From 1 May until 12 June 2024, anyone can submit a response to the draft licence.

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Image: ©ANP

Heerema’s activities include dismantling former drilling platforms for other companies. This process involves transporting the drilling island’s components to Heerema’s location in Nieuwdorp, where it will remove usable components for reuse. Heerema will also clean the radioactive components and dispose of any radioactive materials.

Natural radioactivity is released during oil and gas extraction

Since the Earth was formed, radioactive materials have existed in the deep subsurface. These radioactive materials can be brought to the surface during the extraction process of raw materials such as natural gas and oil. The materials accumulate during the production process and precipitate in, for example, components of a mining installation, such as pipes and pumps.

Preventing workers from coming into contact with radioactive materials

These materials can pose a risk to workers and others during the decommissioning of a mining installation and the materials can end up in the natural surroundings. As a result, Heerema requires a licence for the decommissioning of a mining installation.

Precautionary measures for protecting people and the environment from radiation

In order to obtain this licence, Heerema has had to show how they will safely handle these radioactive materials. They have to take precautionary measures, such as limiting access to the site holding the radioactive materials, as well as requiring that workers wear Personal Protective Equipment in the performance of work on components that may contain radioactive materials.

Plan for the safe handling of radioactive materials

Before they begin the decommissioning process, they draw up a plan for checking for and dealing with any radioactivity found in the installation. The plan details who does what, how they will safely handle radioactivity, and how they will dispose of radioactive materials.

A radiation protection worker monitors the workplace

The company also has a designated area for the storage of radioactive materials. A radiation protection expert also has to be involved. Radiation protection officers always need to be present in the workplace. Read the draft licence for more information on all the conditions.

Responses can be submitted up to and including 12 June 2024

You can review the draft licence for Heerema up to and including 12 June 2024. If you wish to share any thoughts on this draft licence, please do so by submitting an objection.

There are 3 ways to respond:

  1. By email: send an email to and put ‘Objection draft licence for Heerema B.V.’ in the subject line of your email.
  2. In writing: send a letter to the ANVS, Objection to draft licence for Heerema B.V., P.O. Box 16001, 2500 BA The Hague.
  3. By telephone: call the Information Desk for Nuclear Energy Act licences at +31 88 489 05 00, available from Monday to Friday between 8.30 and 17.00.

We will respond to all objections once we take a final decision on Heerema B.V.’s licence application. We will include your objections and our responses to these objections in our final decision. This decision will then also be published on our website. If you have submitted an objection, you will receive a link to the definitive licence if you have requested one.

Would you like to know more?

Please read the official announcement in the Government Gazette (in Dutch).