Press release
Paris, 20 September 2000


NEA reports just published

The OECD Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) announces the publication of the following reports:

Radioactive waste management and decommissioning

Geologic Disposal of Radioactive Waste in Perspective
(66 2000 28 1 P) ISBN 92-64-18425-2

There is a broad scientific and technical consensus that disposal of high-level, long-lived radioactive waste in deep geologic formations is an appropriate and safe means of isolating it from the biosphere for very long time scales. There have, however, been setbacks in the disposal programmes in many countries, primarily due to the failure of the waste management community to win sufficient public and political support.

This report, which is based on recent work of the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA), reviews the progress to date in this field and the further steps that may be required to implement geologic disposal, taking into account both the technical and regulatory requirements, and the need to achieve an appropriate level of societal acceptance.

This book should be of interest to government and industry decision makers, academics and all those eager to better understand what is at stake in this widely debated subject and the prospects that emerge.

Features, Events and Processes (FEPs) for Geologic Disposal of Radioactive Waste: An International Database
(66 2000 14 1 P) ISBN 92-64-18514-3

Safety assessments of disposal sites for radioactive waste involve analyses of potential releases of radionuclides from the disposed waste and subsequent transport to the human environment. An important stage of assessment is the identification and documentation of all the features, events and processes (FEPs) that may be relevant to long-term safety. This report provides an international compilation of FEPs as well as a basis for selecting the FEPs that should be included in safety analyses.

Porewater Extraction from Argillaceous Rocks for Geochemical Characterisation
(66 2000 02 1 P) ISBN 92-64-17181-9

The definition of the chemical and isotopic composition of the groundwater present in argillaceous formations, which are considered as potential host rocks for radioactive waste disposal, is crucial for establishing their barrier properties. Therefore, a critical review of the relevant literature on the current methods applied to extract water and solutes and on the various approaches to the interpretation of their results was commissioned to the Laboratoire d'hydrologie et de géochimie isotopique (Université de Paris-Sud, France).

This review provides a synthesis of available extraction methods, assesses their respective advantages and limitations, identifies key processes that may influence the composition of the extracted water, describes modelling approaches that are used to determine in situ porewater composition, and highlights, wherever possible, some of the unresolved issues and recommendations on ways to address them.

Radiological protection

A Critical Review of the System of Radiation Protection
ISBN 92-64-18554-2

Scientific rationale that was once sufficient to explain radiation protection theory and practice is no longer adequate. The need to address and communicate theory, practice and the decision-making process to a wider audience has given rise to numerous debates and led the radiation protection community to revisit the framework of the system of radiation protection. The very fundamentals of the system of radiation protection continue to be questioned in a healthy fashion, and many aspects have been identified which could better serve stakeholders given some additional thought in the light of modern societal needs.

This report is the summary of the NEA's first reflections in this area, and describes those aspects of the current international system of radiation protection that could be improved. Suggested directions for improvement are provided.

Nuclear technology development and economics

Nuclear Education and Training: Cause for Concern?
(66 2000 17 1 P) ISBN 92-64-18521-6

Mankind now enjoys many benefits from nuclear-related technologies. There is, however, growing concern in many OECD countries that nuclear education and training is decreasing, perhaps to problematic levels.

This publication conveys the results of a pioneering survey on nuclear education and training in almost 200 organisations in 16 countries. It presents the current situation and examines causes for concern. It also provides recommendations as to the actions governments, academia and industry must take in order to ensure that crucial present requirements are met and future options are not precluded.

Nuclear Power in Competitive Electricity Markets
ISBN 92-64-18262-4

Economic deregulation in the power sector raises new challenges for the prospects of nuclear power. A key issue is to assess whether nuclear power can be competitive in a deregulated electricity market. Other important considerations include safety, nuclear liability and insurance, the nuclear power infrastructure, and health and environmental protection.

This study, conducted by a group of experts from twelve OECD member countries and three international organisations, provides a review and analysis of these issues, as related to both existing and future nuclear power plants. It will be of particular interest to energy analysts, as well as to policy makers in the nuclear and government sectors.

Nuclear safety technology and regulation

Assuring Nuclear Safety Competence into the 21st Century
Workshop proceedings, Budapest, Hungary, 12-14 October 1999
(66 2000 16 1 P) ISBN 92-64-18517-8

Irrespective of current views on the future of nuclear power programmes, concerns are arising with respect to the long-term ability to preserve safety competence because student enrolments in nuclear engineering are decreasing rapidly and experienced staff are reaching retirement age. "Assuring Nuclear Safety Competence into the 21st Century" was discussed in depth by workshop participants. The need for a long-term strategic view was emphasised, and policy recommendations were made. These proceedings will be of particular interest to those playing a policy role in the nuclear industry, regulatory bodies and the education sector.

Nuclear law

Nuclear Legislation in Central and Eastern Europe and the NIS: 2000 Overview
(66 2000 18 1 P) ISBN 92-64-18525-9

This publication examines the legislation and regulations governing the peaceful uses of nuclear energy in eastern European countries. It covers 11 countries from Central and Eastern Europe and 11 countries from the New Independent States: Albania, Armenia, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Georgia, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan.

The chapters follow a systematic format making it easier for the reader to carry out research and compare information.

Please quote the title and reference in any review.

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