Integration Group for the Safety Case (IGSC)

Overview

Radioactive waste is produced in all phases of the nuclear fuel cycle and from the use of radioactive materials in industrial, medical, defence and research applications.  Disposal in engineered facilities, or repositories, located in suitable geological formations is being developed worldwide as the reference solution for the long-term management of radioactive waste.  Societal agreement for deep geological repositories depends on confidence that they can protect humans and the environment both now and in the future.  The safety of a repository is evaluated and documented in a “safety case” that support decision making at each stage of repository development.  It presents the underlying evidence and methods that give confidence in the quality of scientific and institutional processes as well as in the results of analyses.

The Integration Group for the Safety Case (IGSC) was established in 2000 by the NEA Radioactive Waste Management Committee (RWMC) in recognition of the need to foster full integration of all aspects of the safety case.  The IGSC is the main technical advisory body to the RWMC on the deep geological disposal especially of long-lived and high-level radioactive waste.  More information of the IGSC is provided on the IGSC “identity flyer”.

Mission

The mission of the IGSC is to assist member countries to develop effective safety cases supported by robust scientific technical basis.  In addition to the technical aspects in all developmental stages of repository implementation, the group also provides a platform for international dialogues between safety experts to address strategic and policy aspects of repository development.

Activities and international projects

The development of a safety case involves inputs of various disciplines (e.g. engineering, geology, radiation protection, etc). The IGSC provides an open, neutral forum for experts to interact and communicate.  IGSC activities foster consensus on best practices and advance the development of innovative approaches used in all stages of repository implementation.  Activities are organised in the following thematic framework (further information forthcoming):

The IGSC also participates in international projects and work activities to stay abreast of the state-of-the art knowledge and technologies in safe radioactive waste management.  Examples of international projects include, but not limited to: Fate of Repository Gases, monitoring developments for Safe Repository Operation and Staged Closure and Implementing to Geological Disposal – Technical Platform.

Flyers

The Long-term Safety Case for Geological Disposal of Radioactive Waste – Its Concept and Continuing Evolution (2014)
English A4, English letter size

Radiological Protection and Geological Disposal
The Guiding Principles and Recommendations of the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP)

The Construction and Operation of Geological Disposal Facilities for High-Level Radioactive Waste and Spent Fuel
English A4, French A4, English letter size, French letter size

Underground Research Laboratory (URL)
English A4, French A4, English letter size, French letter size

Engineered Barrier System (EBS)
English A4, French A4, English letter size, French letter size

IGSC identity flyer

Annual IGSC topical sessions

The role of the biosphere in a safety case (2001)

The safety case in general (2001)

The potential impacts on repository safety by a proposed partitioning and transmutation programme (2002)

Observations regarding the safety case in recent peer reviews of safety assessment studies (2003)

The role of monitoring in a safety case (2004)

Consideration of timescales in the post-closure safety of geological disposal of radioactive waste (2005)

The handling of features, events and processes in the safety case (2006)

The IGSC programme of work (2007)

Operational safety (2008)

Organisational issues (2009)

Optimisation (2010)

Gas migration in geological repository (2011)

Uncertainties and sensitivity analyses (2012)

Membership

The IGSC is made up of senior technical specialists experienced in the assembling or review of the safety case for deep geological disposal projects. Most members are drawn from waste management agencies, regulatory authorities and research and development institutions. The level of seniority of the IGSC members is such that they can mobilise relevant specialists in their own organisation and, in principle, can make resources available for IGSC initiatives. The IGSC currently has 46 members from 38 organisations in 17 countries.

Belgium Canada Czech Republic Finland
  • Federal Agentschap voor Nuclaire Controle (FANC)
  • Organisme National des Déchets RadioActifs et des matières Fissile enrichies/Nationale Instelling voor Radioactif Afval en verijkte Splijtstoffen (ONDRAF/NIRAS)
  • Studiecentrum voor Kernenergie•Centre d'Etude de l'Energie Nucléaire (SCK•CEN)
  • Nuclear Waste Management Organisation/Société de gestion des déchets nucléaires (NWMO/SGDN)
  • Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission/Commission Canadienne de Sûreté Nucléaire  (CNSC/CCSN)
  • Radioactive Waste Repository Authority (RAWRA)
  • Nuclear Research Institute (NRI)
France Germany Hungary Japan
  • Agence Nationale pour la gestion des Déchets RadioActifs (ANDRA)
  • Institut de Radioprotection et de Sûreté Nucléaire (IRSN)
  • PUblic Limited Company for RAdioactive Waste Management (PURAM)
  • Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA)
  • Nuclear Waste Management Organization of Japan (NUMO)
Korea The Netherlands Spain Sweden
  • Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute (KAERI)
  • Korean Institute for Nuclear safety (KINS)

 

  • Nuclear Services for Energy, Environmental and Health (NRG)
  • Empresa Nacional de Residuos Radioactivos S.A. (ENRESA)
  • Svensk Kärnbränslehantering AB (SKB)
  • Swedish Radiation Safety Authority (SSM)
Switzerland United Kingdom United States of America European Commission
  • Nationale Genossenschaft für die Lagerung Radioaktiver Abfälle (Nagra)
  • Eidgenössische Nuklearsicherheits-inspektorat (ENSI)
  • Paul-Scherrer-Institut (PSI)
  • US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (USNRC)
  • United States Department of Energy (USDOE)
  • US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Mode of operation

The mode of operation of the IGSC is through the following:

  1. annual plenary meetings with in-depth discussions of emerging issues and trends in radioactive waste management. During its annual meetings the IGSC often holds a topical session on a subject of particular interest to its members. To date topical session have addressed (topics addressed in previous topical sessions are listed above); and
  2. technical projects and workshops to investigate specific topics of interest in details. 
    By co-ordinating its work with other NEA committees and working parties, the IGSC effectively integrates the non technical aspects (e.g. legal, regulatory and societal) with the technical issues in implementing nuclear waste repository.

The IGSC also co-operates with its counterparts in the European Commission (EC) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to maintain international consistency on geological disposal safety issues. 

Services to member countries

Assistance is provided to the member countries through national, regional and inter-regional technical co-operation projects, as well as through peer reviews of radioactive waste management programmes.  The outcomes of IGSC projects are documented in NEA technical reports that are publicly available.

Related links

IGSC core activities

IGSC technical activities

IGSC co-operative activities

IGSC working area (password protected | reminder).

RepMet working area (password protected | reminder)

Radioactive Waste Management Committee (RWMC)

Email contact:


Last reviewed: 12 June 2014