Press release
Paris, 19 March 2002

NEA announces the publication of several new reports

Radioactive waste management

An International Peer Review of the Yucca Mountain Project TSPA-SR (*)
Total System Performance Assessment for the Site Recommendation (TSPA-SR)
ISBN 92-64-18477-5 - 96 pages

The Department of Energy of the United States of America (USDOE) has been studying the Yucca Mountain site in Nevada for more than 15 years to determine whether it is a suitable place to construct an underground repository for US spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste of commercial and military origins. A number of performance assessments have been carried out over the past decade by the USDOE, the latest of which is the Total System Performance Assessment supporting the site recommendation process (TSPA-SR) of December 2000. This report presents the results of the jointly organised NEA-IAEA international peer review of the TSPA-SR, performed upon the request of the USDOE. The review was carried out by a team of ten international specialists.

GEOTRAP: Radionuclide Migration in Geologic, Heterogeneous Media (*)
Summary of Accomplishments
ISBN 92-64-18479-1 - 52 pages

GEOTRAP - the OECD/NEA Project on Radionuclide Migration in Geologic, Heterogeneous Media - was carried out in the context of site evaluation and safety assessment of deep repository systems for long-lived radioactive waste. The project was created in 1996 with the aim of developing an understanding of, and modelling capability for, potential radionuclide migration.

This report provides an overview of the project's main findings and accomplishments over its five-year life. This summary should help make the valuable information collected and generated by the GEOTRAP project accessible to a wide readership both within and outside the radioactive waste community. It is a reflection of the careful attention paid by this community to the question of radionuclide transport.

Radionuclide Retention in Geologic Media (*)
Workshop proceedings, Oskarshamn, Sweden, 7-9 May 2001
ISBN 92-64-19695-1 - 272 pages

GEOTRAP is the OECD/NEA Project on Radionuclide Migration in Geologic, Heterogeneous Media carried out in the context of site evaluation and safety assessment of deep repository systems for long-lived radioactive waste.

Retention of radionuclides within the geosphere for prolonged periods is an important safety function of deep geologic disposal concepts for radioactive waste. The extent to which retention processes can be relied upon in repository performance assessment depends upon the existence of well-established theoretical bases for the processes. It also depends on support for the operation of specific retention processes, and models for their quantitative evaluation, from a wide range of laboratory and field experiments and observations from nature. The fifth GEOTRAP workshop, "Geological Evidence and Theoretical Bases for Radionuclide-retention Processes in Heterogeneous Media" held in May 2001, looked at radionuclide-retention processes and their consideration and representation in performance assessments. Current approaches to characterising and modelling retention processes, and suggestions for future improvements, were presented and discussed.

In addition to the material presented during the workshop, this publication includes a technical synthesis reflecting the discussions that took place as well as the conclusions and recommendations made, notably during the working group sessions.

Radiological protection

ISOE – Information System on Occupational Exposure (*)
Ten Years of Experience
ISBN 92-64-18480-5 - 40 pages

The Information System on Occupational Exposure (ISOE) was created in 1992 to provide a forum for radiation protection experts from both utilities and national regulatory authorities to discuss, promote and co-ordinate international co-operative undertakings in the area of worker protection at nuclear power plants. The ISOE System is jointly managed by the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

This report provides an overview of the experience gained from, and benefits provided by, the ISOE System over the past ten years. Active participation of a large number of utilities in ISOE has contributed to a reduction in occupational exposure at nuclear power plants worldwide.

Nuclear development

Environmental Remediation of Uranium Production Facilities (**)
A Joint NEA/IAEA Report
ISBN 92-64-19509-2 - 350 pages

Environmental remediation activities in uranium mines and mills have become increasingly important in the last few decades due to the large number of facilities which have been taken out of operation, the growing interest in remediating previously abandoned sites and the increasingly strict environmental regulations that are being put in place. Remediation programmes are being implemented to ensure the return of affected areas to previously existing environmental conditions or to a land use that will be sustainable in the long term and acceptable to all stakeholders.

This report provides a summary of the most relevant issues and practices in remediation programmes of uranium production facilities and an overview of activities and plans in reporting countries. It covers the areas of site characterisation, dismantling and decommissioning, waste management facilities, water remediation, long-term stewardship and monitoring, policies and regulations, and costs. The country profiles of remediation activities and plans include information considered to be important by the country and are based on survey responses provided by 22 countries (12 OECD and 10 non-OECD countries).

Réaménagement de l'environnement des sites de production d'uranium (**)
Rapport établi conjointement par l'AEN et l'AIEA
ISBN 92-64-29509-7 - 380 pages

Le réaménagement de l'environnement des sites des mines et usines de traitement d'uranium a pris un tournant majeur depuis quelques décennies. Les raisons de cette évolution sont multiples : un grand nombre d'installations ont été fermées ; la décontamination des anciens sites abandonnés est un souci croissant ; enfin, des règlements toujours plus stricts sont mis en place en vue de protéger l'environnement. Des programmes de réaménagement sont donc instaurés dans le but de rétablir l'environnement initial des sites contaminés ou de permettre l'utilisation libre des sols, le tout dans un cadre qui sache respecter les objectifs du développement durable à long terme et qui convienne à toutes les parties prenantes.

Ce rapport résume les pratiques et les enjeux les plus importants des programmes visant à réaménager les installations de production d'uranium, puis brosse le tableau général des activités et des programmes spécifiques dans les pays participant à l'étude. Les thèmes abordés sont variés : caractérisation des sites, démantèlement et déclassement, installations de gestion des déchets, décontamination de l'eau, intendance et surveillance de longue durée, politiques et réglementation, et coûts. Les profils nationaux des activités et programmes de réaménagement s'appuient sur les réponses fournies par chacun des 22 pays (12 pays Membres de l'OCDE et 10 pays non membres) qui ont participé à l'enquête et comprennent des informations liées aux questions qui sont réputées les plus importantes dans chacun d'entre eux.

Nuclear science

Comparison Calculations for an Accelerator-driven Minor Actinide Burner (*)
ISBN 92-64-18478-3 - 200 pages

International interest in accelerator-driven systems (ADS) has recently been increasing in view of the important role that these systems may play as efficient minor actinide and long-lived fission-product (LLFP) burners and/or energy producers with an enhanced safety potential. However, the current methods of analysis and nuclear data for minor actinide and LLFP burners are not as well established as those for conventionally fuelled reactor systems. Hence, in 1999, the OECD/NEA Nuclear Science Committee organised a benchmark exercise for an accelerator-driven minor actinide burner to check the performances of reactor codes and nuclear data for ADS with unconventional fuel and coolant. The benchmark model was a lead-bismuth-cooled subcritical system driven by a beam of 1 GeV protons.

This report provides an analysis of the results supplied by seven participants from eight countries. The analysis reveals significant differences in important neutronic parameters, indicating a need for further investigation of the nuclear data, especially minor actinide data, as well as the calculation methods. This report will be of particular interest to reactor physicists and nuclear data evaluators developing nuclear systems for nuclear waste management.

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The symbol (*) indicates English text only; (**) indicates both English and French versions are available.

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