After completion of the remediation of the legacy of uranium mining and milling for most of these objects and sites a continued monitoring will be necessary and some of these objects may require maintenance.
The main remediation objects in Saxony are waste rock piles, tailings ponds/deposits and underground mines. The monitoring and maintenance needs of the individual objects differ substantially and consequently the regulatory requirements (both type and extent of monitoring) placed on the individual objects will vary following an object-/site specific approach. Among the most sensitive monitoring parameters are the qualities of seepage and ground water. Another essential parameter is the monitoring of performance and maintenance of functionality of the covers placed on the waste rock piles and tailings to control radon exhalation and contaminated seepage. Unfortunately, there is no reliable database available for the long-term performance of the remediation measures and there has been no effort yet to develop such a database. To obtain a reliable estimate of the period of time needed for the active post remedial care, it is recommended to carry out studies on natural analogues. At present, the Saxon regulatory authorities demand a monitoring and maintenance period of 25 (radiation protection) rsp. 30 years (conventional waste regulations).
Provided the remedial measures taken prove to perform well, the monitoring effort will decrease with time. Considering the fact that the remediation measures implemented were designed for a 200 to 1000 years long stabile performance it is expected that little maintenance will be needed. However, singular cases of disruption, such as damages of cover cannot be excluded.
A most relevant issue in this respect is the funding of the long-term post remedial tasks. The owner responsible for the uranium sites and objects that were in legal possession of Wismut on June 30, 1990 is and will remain the Federal Government of Germany. For the former Wismut sites, which are legally owned by other parties, the responsibility for funding of long term monitoring and maintenance is in the hands of the actual owners.