The Environmental and Ethical Basis of Geological Disposal of Long-Lived Radioactive Wastes


Annex II

Executive Summary of the Previous International Collective Opinion on Safety Assessments


"Radioactive waste disposal systems are designed to isolate the waste from humans and the environment for the necessary times to ensure that no potential future releases of radioactive substances to the environment would constitute an unacceptable risk. Such systems have been built at or near the surface for low-level and short-lived wastes, and are widely envisaged to be built deep underground in geological formations for high- level and long-lived wastes.

The long-term safety of any hazardous waste disposal system must be convincingly shown prior to its implementation. For radioactive wastes, safety assessments over timescales far beyond the normal horizon of social and technical planning have already been conducted in many countries. These assessments provide the principal means to investigate, quantify, and explain long-term safety of each selected disposal concept and site for the appropriate authorities and the public. Such assessments are based on four main elements: definition of the disposal system and its environment, identification of possible processes and events that may affect the integrity of the disposal system, quantification of the radiological impact by predictive modelling, and description of associated uncertainties.

The NEA Radioactive Waste Management Committee and the IAEA International Radioactive Waste Management Advisory Committee have carefully examined the current scientific methods for safety assessments of radioactive waste disposal systems, as briefly summarised in this report. The Committees have also reviewed the experience now available from using safety assessment methods in many countries, for different disposal concepts and formations, and in the framework of both nationally and internationally conducted studies, as referenced in this report.

Following this review, the NEA Radioactive Waste Management Committee and the IAEA International Radioactive Waste Management Advisory Committee:

Keeping these considerations in mind, the two Committees:

This Collective Opinion is endorsed by the CEC Experts for the Community Plan of Action in the Field of Radioactive Waste Management."

 

Report Navigation


Foreword

The Environmental and Ethical Basis of the Geological Disposal of Long-lived Radioactive Waste

Collective Opinion of the Radioactive Waste Management Committee

Ethical and Environmental Considerations in the Long-term Management of Radioactive Wastes

    Ethical and Environmental Background to the Management of Waste

The Radioactive Waste Management Responsibility

The Geological Disposal Strategy for Radioactive Waste

References

Annexes

I: IAEA Safety Fundamentals:
The Principles of Radioactive Waste Management

II: Executive Summary of the Previous International
Collective Opinion on Safety Assessments

III: List of Members of the Radioactive Waste Management Committee

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