Heerema receives permission to decommission 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 licence specifies the safety requirements that Heerema B.V. must meet. Those who wish to appeal the licence have until 7 August 2024 to do so.

Heerema’s activities include dismantling old drilling platforms for other companies. The company transports the components of these platforms to its site in Nieuwdorp, where it extracts salvageable parts for reuse. Heerema also cleans radioactive components and disposes of radioactive materials.

Natural radioactivity is released during oil and gas extraction

Radioactive materials have been present in the earth’s deep subsurface since it was formed. These materials can be brought to the surface during the extraction process of raw materials such as natural gas and oil. They accumulate during the production process and precipitate in mining installation components, such as pipes and pumps.

Preventing workers from coming into contact with radioactive materials

These materials not only pose a risk to workers and others during the decommissioning of mining installations, but they can also be released into the environment. This is why Heerema requires a licence for the decommissioning of mining installations.

Precautions to protect people and the environment from radiation

In order to obtain this licence (in Dutch), Heerema had to demonstrate how it would handle radioactive materials safely, for instance by taking certain precautions. This includes restricted access to the site where radioactive materials will be processed. The company must also provide personal protective equipment to workers handling components that may contain radioactive materials.

Plan for the safe handling of radioactive materials

Before Heerema starts the decommissioning process, it will draw up a plan setting out how it will check for and deal with any radioactivity found in the installation. The plan will detail who does what, and how any radioactive materials will be handled and disposed of safely.

A radiation protection officer will monitor the site

The company also has a designated area for the storage of radioactive materials. Moreover, a radiation protection expert must be involved in the process, and a radiation protection officer needs to be present at the site at all times. All the requirements Heerema must meet are specified in the licence.

No responses to the draft licence

From 1 May until 12 June 2024, everyone had the opportunity to submit a response to the draft licence. No objections were submitted during this time.

Appeals may be submitted until 7 august 2024

If you disagree with this decision, you can lodge an appeal. You can do so if you are a stakeholder, which means that our decision to grant this licence affects you directly. You can also lodge an appeal if you have previously submitted a response (objection), or if you cannot reasonably be held responsible for not submitting an objection before.
If you lodge an appeal, you can also apply for injunctive relief. This ensures that the licence does not take effect until after your appeal has been reviewed.

You can submit your notice of appeal or injunction request to the Administrative Jurisdiction Division of the Council of State. There are two ways to do this:

  1. Online: if you are a private citizen, you can use your DigiD to log on to the Council of State’s digital service desk and submit your appeal there.
  2. By post: send your notice of appeal to the Administrative Jurisdiction Division, Council of State, PO Box 20019, 2500 EA The Hague.

Would you like to find out more?

For more information, see the official announcement in the Government Gazette (in Dutch). 

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