Radioactive Waste Management Publications


Alphabetical list of titles
Fostering a Durable Relationship Between a Waste Management Facility and its Host Community (2015)
Adding Value Through Design and Process - 2015 Edition
Geological Disposal of Radioactive Waste: National Commitment, Local and Regional Involvement (2012)
A Collective Statement of the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency Radioactive Waste Management Committee Adopted March 2012
International Conference on Geological Repositories (2017)
Conference Synthesis, 7-9 December 2016, Paris, France
Radioactive Waste Management and Constructing Memory for Future Generations (2015)
Proceedings of the International Conference and Debate, 15-17 September 2015, Verdun, France
Reversibility and Retrievability in Planning for Geological Disposal of Radioactive Waste (2012)
Proceedings of the "R&R" International Conference and Dialogue, 14-17 December 2010, Reims, France
Stakeholder Confidence in Radioactive Waste Management (2013)
An Annotated Glossary of Key Terms
The Long-term Radiological Safety of a Surface Disposal Facility for Low-level Waste in Belgium (2012)
An International Peer Review of Key Aspects of ONDRAF/NIRAS' Safety Report of November 2011 in Preparation for the License Application
The Post-closure Radiological Safety Case for a Spent Fuel Repository in Sweden (2012)
An International Peer Review of the SKB License-application Study of March 2011

Detailed publication list

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International Conference on Geological Repositories
Conference Synthesis, 7-9 December 2016, Paris, France
English, 40 pages, published: 04/04/17
NEA#7345
Available online at: http://www.oecd-nea.org/rwm/pubs/2017/7345-icgr2016-synthesis.pdf
Worldwide consensus exists within the international community that geological repositories can provide the necessary long-term safety and security to isolate long-lived radioactive waste from the human environment over long timescales. Such repositories are also feasible to construct using current technologies. However, proving the technical merits and safety of repositories, while satisfying societal and political requirements, has been a challenge in many countries.

Building upon the success of previous conferences held in Denver (1999), Stockholm (2003), Berne (2007) and Toronto (2012), the ICGR 2016 brought together high-level decision makers from regulatory and local government bodies, waste management organisations and public stakeholder communities to review current perspectives of geological repository development. This publication provides a synthesis of the 2016 conference on continued engagement and safe implementation of repositories, which was designed to promote information and experience sharing, particularly in the development of polices and regulatory frameworks. Repository safety, and the planning and implementation of repository programmes with societal involvement, as well as ongoing work within different international organisations, were also addressed at the conference.

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Communication on the Safety Case for a Deep Geological Repository
English, 87 pages, published: 02/20/17
NEA#7336
Available online at: http://www.oecd-nea.org/rwm/pubs/2017/7336-comms-safety-case.pdf
Communication has a specific role to play in the development of deep geological repositories. Building trust with the stakeholders involved in this process, particularly within the local community, is key for effective communication between the authorities and the public. There are also clear benefits to having technical experts hone their communication skills and having communication experts integrated into the development process. This report has compiled lessons from both failures and successes in communicating technical information to non-technical audiences. It addresses two key questions in particular: what is the experience base concerning the effectiveness or non-effectiveness of different tools for communicating safety case results to a non-technical audience and how can communication based on this experience be improved and included into a safety case development effort from the beginning?
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Financing the Decommissioning of Nuclear Facilities
English, 21 pages, published: 08/18/16
NEA#7326
Available online at: http://www.oecd-nea.org/rwm/pubs/2016/7326-fin-decom-nf.pdf
Decommissioning of both commercial and R&D nuclear facilities is expected to increase significantly in the coming years, and the largest of such industrial decommissioning projects could command considerable budgets. It is important to understand the costs of decommissioning projects in order to develop realistic cost estimates as early as possible based on preliminary decommissioning plans, but also to develop funding mechanisms to ensure that future decommissioning expenses can be adequately covered. Sound financial provisions need to be accumulated early on to reduce the potential risk for residual, unfunded liabilities and the burden on future generations, while ensuring environmental protection.

Decommissioning planning can be subject to considerable uncertainties, particularly in relation to potential changes in financial markets, in energy policies or in the conditions and requirements for decommissioning individual nuclear installations, and such uncertainties need to be reflected in regularly updated cost estimates.

This booklet offers a useful overview of the relevant aspects of financing the decommissioning of nuclear facilities. It provides information on cost estimation for decommissioning, as well as details about funding mechanisms and the management of funds based on current practice in NEA member countries.
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Japan's Siting Process for the Geological Disposal of High-level Radioactive Waste
An International Peer Review
English, 46 pages, published: 08/04/16
NEA#7331
Available online at: http://www.oecd-nea.org/rwm/pubs/2016/7331-japan-peer-review-gdrw.pdf
The Nuclear Energy Agency carried out an independent peer review of Japan's siting process and criteria for the geological disposal of high-level radioactive waste in May 2016. The review concluded that Japan's site screening process is generally in accordance with international practices. As the goal of the siting process is to locate a site -- that is both appropriate and accepted by the community -- to host a geological disposal facility for high-level radioactive waste, the international review team emphasises in this report the importance of maintaining an open dialogue and interaction between the regulator, the implementer and the public. Dialogue should begin in the early phases and continue throughout the siting process. The international review team also underlines the importance of taking into account feasibility aspects when selecting a site for preliminary investigations, but suggests that it would be inappropriate to set detailed scientific criteria for nationwide screening at this stage. The team has provided extensive advisory remarks in the report as opportunities for improvement, including the recommendation to use clear and consistent terminology in defining the site screening criteria as it is a critical factor in a successful siting process.
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Management of Radioactive Waste after a Nuclear Power Plant Accident
English, 225 pages, published: 12/02/16
NEA#7305
Available online at: http://www.oecd-nea.org/rwm/pubs/2016/7305-mgmt-rwm-npp-2016.pdf
The NEA Expert Group on Fukushima Waste Management and Decommissioning R&D (EGFWMD) was established in 2014 to offer advice to the authorities in Japan on the management of large quantities of on-site waste with complex properties and to share experiences with the international community and NEA member countries on ongoing work at the Fukushima Daiichi site. The group was formed with specialists from around the world who had gained experience in waste management, radiological contamination or decommissioning and waste management R&D after the Three Mile Island and Chernobyl accidents. This report provides technical opinions and ideas from these experts on post-accident waste management and R&D at the Fukushima Daiichi site, as well as information on decommissioning challenges.
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National Inventories and Management Strategies for Spent Nuclear Fuel and Radioactive Waste
Methodology for Common Presentation of Data
English, 62 pages, published: 07/28/16
NEA#7323
Free on web
Radioactive waste inventory data are an important element in the development of a national radioactive waste management programme since these data affect the design and selection of the ultimate disposal methods. Inventory data are generally presented as an amount of radioactive waste under various waste classes, according to the waste classification scheme developed and adopted by the country or national programme in question. Various waste classification schemes have thus evolved in most countries, and these schemes classify radioactive waste according to its origin, to criteria related to the protection of workers or to the physical, chemical and radiological properties of the waste and the planned disposal method(s).

The diversity in classification schemes across countries has restricted the possibility of comparing waste inventories and led to difficulties in interpreting waste management practices, both nationally and internationally. To help improve this situation, the Nuclear Energy Agency proposed to develop a methodology that would ensure consistency of national radioactive waste inventory data when presenting them in a common scheme. This report provides such a methodology and presenting scheme for spent nuclear fuel and for waste arising from reprocessing. The extension of the methodology and presenting scheme to other types of radioactive waste and corresponding management strategies is envisaged in a second phase.
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Strategic Considerations for the Sustainable Remediation of Nuclear Installations
English, 110 pages, published: 05/23/16
NEA#7290
Available online at: http://www.oecd-nea.org/rwm/pubs/2016/7290-strategic-considerations.pdf
Nuclear sites around the world are being decommissioned and remedial actions are being undertaken to enable sites, or parts of sites, to be reused. Although such activities are relatively straightforward for most sites, experience has suggested that preventative action is needed to minimise the impact of remediation activities on the environment and the potential burden to future generations. Removing all contamination in order to make a site suitable for any use generates waste and has associated environmental, social and economic drawbacks and benefits. Site remediation should thus be sustainable and result in an overall net benefit.

This report draws on recent experience of NEA member countries in nuclear site remediation during decommissioning in order to identify strategic considerations for the sustainable remediation of subsurface contamination – predominantly contaminated soil and groundwater – to describe good practice, and to make recommendations for further research and development. It provides insights for the decision makers, regulators, implementers and stakeholders involved in nuclear site decommissioning so as to ensure the sustainable remediation of nuclear sites, now and in the future.

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Fostering a Durable Relationship Between a Waste Management Facility and its Host Community
Adding Value Through Design and Process - 2015 Edition
English, 66 pages, published: 12/01/15
NEA#7264
Available online at: http://www.oecd-nea.org/rwm/pubs/2015/7264-fostering-durable-relationship-2015.pdf
In the field of long-term radioactive waste management, projects to construct repositories normally last from decades to centuries. Such projects will inevitably have an effect on the host community from the planning stage to the end of construction and beyond. The key to a long-lasting and positive relationship between a site and its host community is ensuring that solutions are reached together throughout the entire process. The sustainability of radioactive waste management solutions can potentially be achieved through design and implementation of a facility that provides added cultural and amenity value, as well as economic opportunities, to the local community.

This second edition of Fostering a Durable Relationship Between a Waste Management Facility and its Host Community: Adding Value Through Design and Process highlights new innovations in siting processes and in facility design – functional, cultural and physical – from different countries, which could be of added value to host communities and their sites in the short to long term. These new features are examined from the perspective of sustainability, with a focus on increasing the likelihood that people will both understand the facility and its functions, and remember what is located at the site.

This 2015 update by the NEA Forum on Stakeholder Confidence will be beneficial in designing paths forward for local or regional communities, as well as for national radioactive waste management programmes.
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Radioactive Waste Management and Constructing Memory for Future Generations
Proceedings of the International Conference and Debate, 15-17 September 2015, Verdun, France
English, 177 pages, published: 11/18/15
NEA#7259
Available online at: http://www.oecd-nea.org/rwm/pubs/2015/7259-constructing-memory-2015.pdf
The Preservation of Records, Knowledge and Memory (RK&M) across Generations initiative was launched by the Nuclear Energy Agency in 2011 to foster international reflection and progress towards this goal and to meet increasing demands by waste management specialists and other interested parties for viable and shared strategies. The RK&M initiative is now in its second phase, which is to last until 2017. Phase I culminated on 15-17 September 2014 with the organisation of an international conference and debate on “Constructing Memory" held in Verdun, France.

The conference was attended by approximately 200 participants from 17 countries and 3 international organisations. Participants included specialists from the radioactive waste management area and beyond, academics in the fields of archaeology, communications, cultural heritage, geography and history, as well as artists, archivists, representatives from local heritage societies and from communities that could host a radioactive waste repository.
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Stakeholder Involvement in Decision Making: A Short Guide to Issues, Approaches and Resources
English, 62 pages, published: 01/01/16
NEA#7189
Available online at: http://www.oecd-nea.org/rwm/pubs/2015/7189-stakeholder-involvement-2015.pdf
Radioactive waste management is embedded in broader societal issues such as the environment, risk management, energy, health policy and sustainability. In all these fields, there is an increasing demand for public involvement and engagement. This 2015 update of Stakeholder Involvement Techniques: Short Guide and Annotated Bibliography, assists practitioners and non-specialists by outlining the steps and issues associated with stakeholder involvement in decision making and by facilitating access to useful online resources (handbooks, toolboxes and case studies). The updated guide has been considerably enriched with experiences since 2004 and includes extensive references to the literature. It is published alongside the release of an online annotated bibliography that will be updated regularly.
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The Practice of Cost Estimation for Decommissioning of Nuclear Facilities
English, published: 06/01/15
NEA#7237
Available online at: http://www.oecd-nea.org/rwm/pubs/2015/7237-practice-cost-estimation.pdf
Decommissioning of both commercially used and R&D nuclear facilities is expected to increase significantly in the coming years, and the largest of such industrial decommissioning projects could command considerable budgets. Several approaches are currently being used for decommissioning cost estimations, with an international culture developing in the field. The present cost estimation practice guide was prepared in order to offer international actors specific guidance in preparing quality cost and schedule estimates to support detailed budgeting for decommissioning implementation, for the preparation of decommissioning plans and for the securing of funds. This guide is based on current practices and standards in a number of NEA member countries and aims to help consolidate the practice and process of decommissioning cost estimation so as to make it more widely understood. It offers a useful reference for the practitioner and for training programmes.

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Guide for International Peer Reviews of Decommissioning Cost Studies for Nuclear Facilities
English, 49 pages, published: 10/27/14
NEA#7190
Available online at: http://www.oecd-nea.org/rwm/pubs/2014/7190-guide-peer-reviews.pdf
Peer reviews are a standard co-operative OECD working tool that offer member countries a framework to compare experiences and examine best practices in a host of areas. The OECD Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) has developed a proven methodology for conducting peer reviews in radioactive waste management and nuclear R&D. Using this methodology, the NEA Radioactive Waste Management Committee’s Working Party on Decommissioning and Dismantling (WPDD) developed the present guide as a framework for decommissioning cost reviewers and reviewees to prepare for and conduct international peer reviews of decommissioning cost estimate studies for nuclear facilities. It includes checklists that will help national programmes or relevant organisations to assess and improve decommissioning cost estimate practices in the future. This guide will act as the NEA reference for conducting such international peer reviews.
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Nuclear Site Remediation and Restoration during Decommissioning of Nuclear Installations
English, 244 pages, published: 08/18/14
NEA#7192
Available online at: http://www.oecd-nea.org/rwm/pubs/2014/7192-cpd-report.pdf
Decommissioning of nuclear facilities and related remedial actions are currently being undertaken around the world to enable sites or parts of sites to be reused for other purposes. Remediation has generally been considered as the last step in a sequence of decommissioning steps, but the values of prevention, long-term planning and parallel remediation are increasingly being recognised as important steps in the process. This report, prepared by the Task Group on Nuclear Site Restoration of the NEA Co-operative Programme on Decommissioning, highlights lessons learnt from remediation experiences of NEA member countries that may be particularly helpful to practitioners of nuclear site remediation, regulators and site operators. It provides observations and recommendations to consider in the development of strategies and plans for efficient nuclear site remediation that ensures protection of workers and the environment.
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R&D and Innovation Needs for Decommissioning Nuclear Facilities
English, 314 pages, published: 07/21/14
NEA#7191
Available online at: http://www.oecd-nea.org/rwm/pubs/2014/7191-rd-innovation-needs.pdf
Nuclear decommissioning activities can greatly benefit from research and development (R&D) projects. This report examines applicable emergent technologies, current research efforts and innovation needs to build a base of knowledge regarding the status of decommissioning technology and R&D. This base knowledge can be used to obtain consensus on future R&D that is worth funding. It can also assist in deciding how to collaborate and optimise the limited pool of financial resources available among NEA member countries for nuclear decommissioning R&D.

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Stakeholder Confidence in Radioactive Waste Management
An Annotated Glossary of Key Terms
English, 64 pages, published: 03/01/13
NEA#6988
Available online at: http://www.oecd-nea.org/rwm/docs/2013/6988-fsc-glossary.pdf
The OECD Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) Forum on Stakeholder Confidence (FSC) Annotated Glossary is a review of concepts central to societal decision making about radioactive waste management. It records the evolution in understanding that has taken place in the group as the FSC has worked with these concepts over time. This should be a useful resource not only for new FSC participants but also for others: this annotated glossary forms a good reference handbook for future texts regarding societal aspects of radioactive waste management and its governance.

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Geological Disposal of Radioactive Waste: National Commitment, Local and Regional Involvement
A Collective Statement of the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency Radioactive Waste Management Committee Adopted March 2012
English, 24 pages, published: 07/18/12
NEA#7082, ISBN: 978-92-64-99183-5
Available online at: http://www.oecd-nea.org/rwm/reports/2012/7082-geo-disposal-statement.pdf

Other language(s):
- Français: Stockage géologique des déchets radioactifs : Engagement national, participation locale et régionale 
Disposal in engineered facilities built in stable, deep geological formations is the reference solution for permanently isolating long-lived radioactive waste from the human biosphere. This management method is designed to be intrinsically safe and final, meaning that it is not dependent on human presence or intervention in order to fulfil its safety goal. Selecting the site of a waste repository brings up a range of issues involving scientific knowledge, technical capacity, ethical values, territorial planning, community well-being and more. Bringing to fruition the multi-decade task of siting and developing a repository demands a strong national commitment and significant regional and local involvement.
This collective statement by the Radioactive Waste Management Committee of the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency recognises the advances made towards greater transparency and dialogue among the diverse stakeholders concerned and identifies the fundamental elements needed to support national commitment and to foster territorial involvement. It concludes that technical and societal partners can develop shared confidence in the safety of geological repositories and jointly carry these projects forward.
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Methods for Safety Assessment of Geological Disposal Facilities for Radioactive Waste
Outcomes of the NEA MeSA Initiative
English, 240 pages, published: 06/21/12
NEA#6923, ISBN: 978-92-64-99190-3
Available online at: http://www.oecd-nea.org/rwm/reports/2012/nea6923-MESA-initiative.pdf
Safety assessment is an interdisciplinary approach that focuses on the scientific understanding and performance assessment of safety functions as well as the hazards associated with a geological disposal facility. It forms a central part of the safety case, and the results of the safety assessments provide evidence to support decision making. The goals of the NEA project on “Methods for Safety Assessment for Geological Disposal Facilities for Radioactive Waste” (MeSA) were to examine and document methods used in safety assessment for radioactive waste disposal facilities, to generate collective views based on the methods’ similarities and differences, and to identify future work. The project reviewed a number of approaches used by various national and international organisations. Following the comprehensive review, a generic safety case with a safety assessment flowchart was developed and is presented herein. The elaboration of the safety concept, the use of safety functions, the implication of uncertainties and the formulation of scenarios are also discussed.
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Reversibility and Retrievability in Planning for Geological Disposal of Radioactive Waste
Proceedings of the "R&R" International Conference and Dialogue, 14-17 December 2010, Reims, France
English, 236 pages, published: 12/31/12
NEA#6993, ISBN: 978-92-64-99185-9
Available online at: http://www.oecd-nea.org/rwm/docs/2012/6993-proceedings-rr-reims.pdf
Deep geological repositories of radioactive waste are designed and licensed based on a model of long-term safety which does not require the active presence of man. During the period of stepwise development of such repositories, reversibility of decisions and retrievability of the waste are widely thought to be beneficial. Reversibility and retrievability are not requirements for long-term safety. They are instead about implementing a process that responds to ethical and precautionary obligations without compromising safety. How are the concepts of reversibility and retrievability understood in the various nuclear countries? How do they appear in national waste management legislation, regulation and operational programmes, and how can they be implemented?
The “R&R” project of the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) culminated in an International Conference and Dialogue on Reversibility and Retrievability in December 2010. This open meeting brought together regulators, policy makers, elected officials, experts in social sciences, and representatives of civil society and stakeholder groups in addition to waste management professionals. These proceedings include the texts of 50 presentations and the “International Retrievability Scale” – a tool to support dialogue with stakeholders and to help establish a common international framework.
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The Evolving Role and Image of the Regulator in Radioactive Waste Management
Trends over Two Decades
English, 28 pages, published: 12/31/12
NEA#7083, ISBN: 978-92-64-99186-6
Available online at: http://www.oecd-nea.org/rwm/docs/2012/7083-evolving-role-and-image.pdf

Other language(s):
- Français: Image et rôle de l'autorité de sûreté nucléaire dans la gestion des déchets radioactifs 
In the area of radioactive waste management, the regulator or safety authority has emerged in recent years as a principal actor in the eyes of civil society. This study shows how regulators are increasing their interaction with society while still retaining – or ­reinforcing – their independence and how they play their role within the stepwise ­licensing and decision-making processes now adopted in most countries. Safety is ensured by a “regulatory system”, in which a host of players, including local ­stakeholders, have a vital role to play. The technical regulator has come to be considered as the “people’s expert”, concentrating knowledge useful to local communities as they deliberate the hosting of a waste storage or disposal facility.
This report provides a useful update on the changing role of the regulator as well as insights that will be helpful to the many countries that are considering, or are preparing for, storage or disposal of radioactive waste either in near-surface facilities or deeper underground. While it focuses on the developments in waste management and disposal, the trends it describes are probably relevant throughout the nuclear field.
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The Long-term Radiological Safety of a Surface Disposal Facility for Low-level Waste in Belgium
An International Peer Review of Key Aspects of ONDRAF/NIRAS' Safety Report of November 2011 in Preparation for the License Application
English, 100 pages, published: 10/08/12
NEA#7086, ISBN: 978-92-64-99196-5
Available online at: http://www.oecd-nea.org/rwm/reports/2012/7086-Belgian-peer-review.pdf
An important activity of the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) in the field of radioactive waste management is the organisation of independent, international peer reviews of national studies and projects. This report provides an international peer review of the long-term safety strategy and assessment being developed by the Belgian Agency for Radioactive Waste and Enriched Fissile Materials, ONDRAF/NIRAS, as part of the licence application for the construction and operation of a surface disposal facility for short-lived, low- and intermediate-level radioactive waste in the municipality of Dessel, Belgium. The review was carried out by an International Review Team comprised of seven international specialists, all of whom were free of conflict of interest and chosen to bring complementary expertise to the review. To be accessible to both specialist and non-specialist readers, the review findings are provided at several levels of detail.
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The Post-closure Radiological Safety Case for a Spent Fuel Repository in Sweden
An International Peer Review of the SKB License-application Study of March 2011
English, 156 pages, published: 07/05/12
NEA#7084, ISBN: 978-92-64-99191-0
Available online at: http://www.oecd-nea.org/rwm/docs/2012/nea7084-peer-review-sweden.pdf
Sweden is at the forefront among countries developing plans for a deep geological repository of highly radioactive waste. There is no such repository in operation yet worldwide, but Sweden, Finland and France are approaching the licensing stage. At the request of the Swedish government, the NEA organised an international peer review of the post-closure radiological safety case produced by the Swedish Nuclear Fuel and Waste Management Company (SKB) in support of the application for a general licence to construct and operate a spent nuclear fuel geological repository in the municipality of Östhammar. The purpose of the review was to help the Swedish government, the public and relevant organisations by providing an international reference regarding the maturity of SKB’s spent fuel disposal programme vis-à-vis best practices in long-term disposal safety and radiological protection. The International Review Team (IRT) consisted of ten international specialists, who were free of conflict of interest with the SKB and brought complementary expertise to the review. This report provides the background and findings of the international peer review. The review’s findings are presented at several levels of detail in order to be accessible to both specialist and non-specialist readers.
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Thermodynamic Sorption Modelling in Support of Radioactive Waste Disposal Safety Cases
NEA Sorption Project Phase III
English, 152 pages, published: 05/04/12
NEA#6914, ISBN: 978-92-64-17781-9
Available online at: http://www.oecd-nea.org/rwm/docs/2013/6914-sorption-III.pdf
A central safety function of radioactive waste disposal repositories is the prevention or sufficient retardation of radionuclide migration to the biosphere. Performance assessment exercises in various countries, and for a range of disposal scenarios, have demonstrated that one of the most important processes providing this safety function is the sorption of radionuclides along potential migration paths beyond the engineered barriers. Thermodynamic sorption models (TSMs) are key for improving confidence in assumptions made about such radionuclide sorption when preparing a repository's safety case. This report presents guidelines for TSM development as well as their application in repository performance assessments. They will be of particular interest to the sorption modelling community and radionuclide migration modellers in developing safety cases for radioactive waste disposal.