Preparing for Construction and Operation of Geological Repositories – Challenges to the Regulator and the Implementer

A joint international workshop of the RWMC Regulators’ Forum and the Integration Group for the Safety Case

25-27 January 2012


A key challenge over the next 5-10 years is the licensing of the construction and operation of first deep geological repositories (DGRs) for high-level waste (HLW) and spent fuel (SF). This implies important changes in the waste management organisations as the work on disposal will shift from being mainly research, development and demonstration (RD&D) to being industrially oriented. This could also imply additional developments for regulatory authorities. New issues include operational safety and reliability, increased demands on human resources, quality assurance activities, a requirements management system and effective project management for construction, including procurement activities, with due consideration of long-term safety imperatives. Although many waste management organisations have experienced similar transitions in the case of low-level waste (LLW), the change will be more substantial when it comes to geological disposal and to higher activity waste.

Topics and Objectives

The workshop offered the opportunity to discuss the emerging issues for construction and operation of a DGR – from both a regulator and implementer viewpoint.

The main topics were:

The main objectives were to:

Target audiences

Regulators, implementers and decision makers.

Workshop Chairs

Georg Arens, Chair (RWMC-RF)
Klaus-Jürgen Röhlig, Co-chair (RWMC-IGSC)


The intention was to document the workshop. Its proceedings included:

The proceedings can be downloaded here.

Last reviewed: 14 February 2014