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Towards an “Implementing Geological Disposal Technology Platform” in Europe

[+] Author Affiliations
P. Marjatta Palmu

Posiva Oy, Olkiluoto, Eurajoki, Finland

Torsten L. Eng

Svensk Kärnbränslehantering AB, Stockholm, Sweden

Paper No. ICEM2009-16365, pp. 715-722; 8 pages
doi:10.1115/ICEM2009-16365
From:
  • ASME 2009 12th International Conference on Environmental Remediation and Radioactive Waste Management
  • ASME 2009 12th International Conference on Environmental Remediation and Radioactive Waste Management, Volume 1
  • Liverpool, UK, October 11–15, 2009
  • Conference Sponsors: Nuclear Engineering Division and Environmental Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4407-6 | eISBN: 978-0-7918-3865-X
  • Copyright © 2009 by ASME

abstract

Several European waste management organizations have started the work on creating a technology platform to accelerate the implementation of deep geological disposal of radioactive waste in Europe. There is an increasing consensus in the international community [1] about geological disposal as the preferred option for solving the long-term management of spent fuel, high-level waste, and other long-lived radioactive wastes. At the same time, the European citizens [2] have a widespread wish for a solution for high-level radioactive waste disposal. A majority of the European countries with nuclear power have active waste management programmes, but the current status and the main challenges of those programmes vary. The most advanced waste management programmes in Europe (i.e. Sweden, Finland and France) are prepared to start the licensing process of deep geological disposal facilities within the next decade. Despite the differences between the timing and the challenges of the different programmes, there is a joint awareness that cooperation on the scientific, technical, and social challenges related to geological disposal is needed, and the cooperation will be beneficial for the timely and safe implementation of the first geological disposal facilities. Such a demonstration of a viable solution for the management of high-level radioactive waste will enhance stakeholder confidence in Europe. Several decades of research, development and demonstration (RD&D) have been carried out in the field of geological disposal. International opportunities of cooperation and establishing a technology platform were explored in the European Commission co-funded projects like Net.Excel [3] and CARD [4]. According to the CARD project, the majority of the funding for RD&D in waste management comes from the implementing organizations. It is envisaged that a technology platform would enhance European cooperation in this area. The platform intends to constitute a tool for reducing overlapping work, to produce savings in total costs of research and implementation, and to make better use of existing competence and research infrastructures. After the final workshop of the CARD project in 2008, SKB (Sweden) and Posiva (Finland) were committed to lead the preparation work to set-up the Implementing Geological Disposal of Radioactive Waste Technology Platform (IGD-TP). Other implementers from France, Germany, Switzerland, Great Britain, Spain, and Belgium joined en suite. A Vision Document for the IGD-TP is about to be finalized after a wider consultation was carried out in July 2009. The final Vision Document and the platform are launched during November 2009. Simultaneously, the preparation of the Strategic Research Agenda for the technology platform’s joint work starts.

Copyright © 2009 by ASME

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