Radioactive Waste Management Publications
Alphabetical list of titles
Detailed publication list
Addressing Uncertainties in Cost Estimates for Decommissioning Nuclear Facilities
English, 66 pages, published: 09/28/17
Available online at: http://www.oecd-nea.org/rwm/pubs/2017/7344-uncertainties-decom-cost.pdf
The cost estimation process of decommissioning nuclear facilities has continued to evolve in recent years, with a general trend towards demonstrating greater levels of detail in the estimate and more explicit consideration of uncertainties, the latter of which may have an impact on decommissioning project costs. The 2012 report on the International Structure for Decommissioning Costing (ISDC) of Nuclear Installations, a joint recommendation by the Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA), the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the European Commission, proposes a standardised structure of cost items for decommissioning projects that can be used either directly for the production of cost estimates or for mapping of cost items for benchmarking purposes. The ISDC, however, provides only limited guidance on the treatment of uncertainty when preparing cost estimates. Addressing Uncertainties in Cost Estimates for Decommissioning Nuclear Facilities, prepared jointly by the NEA and IAEA, is intended to complement the ISDC, assisting cost estimators and reviewers in systematically addressing uncertainties in decommissioning cost estimates. Based on experiences gained in participating countries and projects, the report describes how uncertainty and risks can be analysed and incorporated in decommissioning cost estimates, while presenting the outcomes in a transparent manner.
Communication on the Safety Case for a Deep Geological Repository
English, 87 pages, published: 02/20/17
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?
International Conference on Geological Repositories
Conference Synthesis, 7-9 December 2016, Paris, France
English, 40 pages, published: 04/04/17
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.
National Inventories and Management Strategies for Spent Nuclear Fuel and Radioactive Waste
Extended Methodology for the Common Presentation of Data
English, 70 pages, published: 08/28/17
Available online at: http://www.oecd-nea.org/rwm/pubs/2017/7371-spent-fuel-strategies.pdf
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 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 developed a methodology that ensures consistency of national radioactive waste and spent fuel inventory data when presenting them in a common scheme in direct connection with accepted management strategy and disposal routes. This report is a follow up to the 2016 report that introduced the methodology and presenting scheme for spent fuel, and it now extends this methodology and presenting scheme to all types of radioactive waste and corresponding management strategies.
Radiological Characterisation from a Materials and Waste End-State Perspective – Experience from Decommissioning Nuclear Facilities
English, published: 11/02/17
Available online at: http://www.oecd-nea.org/rwm/pubs/2017/7373-rad-char-pers.pdf
Radiological characterisation is a key enabling activity for the planning and
implementation of nuclear facility decommissioning. Effective characterisation allows
the extent, location and nature of contamination to be determined and provides
crucial information for facility dismantling, the management of material and waste
arisings, the protection of workers, the public and the environment, and associated
This report will be useful for characterisation practitioners who carry out tactical
planning, preparation, optimisation and implementation of characterisation to support
the decommissioning of nuclear facilities and the management of associated materials
and waste. It compiles recent experience from NEA member countries in radiological
characterisation, including from international experts, international case studies,
an international conference, and international standards and guidance. Using this
comprehensive evidence base, the report identifies relevant good practice and provides
practical advice covering all stages of the characterisation process.
Recycling and Reuse of Materials Arising from the Decommissioning of Nuclear Facilities
A Report by the NEA Co-operative Programme on Decommissioning
English, 69 pages, published: 08/16/17
Available online at: http://www.oecd-nea.org/rwm/pubs/2017/7310-recycle-decom.pdf
Large quantities of materials arising from the decommissioning of nuclear facilities are non-radioactive per se. An additional significant share of materials is of very low-level or low-level radioactivity and can, after having undergone treatment and a clearance process, be recycled and reused in a restricted or unrestricted way. Recycle and reuse options today provide valuable solutions to minimise radioactive waste from decommissioning and at the same time maximise the recovery of valuable materials. The NEA Co-operative Programme on Decommissioning (CPD) prepared this overview on the various approaches being undertaken by international and national organisations for the management of slightly contaminated material resulting from activities in the nuclear sector. The report draws on CPD member organisations’ experiences and practices related to recycling and reuse, which were gathered through an international survey. It provides information on improvements and changes in technologies, methodologies and regulations since the 1996 report on this subject, with the conclusions and recommendations taking into account 20 years of additional experience that will be useful for current and future practitioners. Case studies are provided to illustrate significant points of interest, for example in relation to scrap metals, concrete and soil.
Sourcebook of International Activities Related to the Development of Safety Cases for Deep Geological Repositories
English, 64 pages, published: 08/21/17
Available online at: http://www.oecd-nea.org/rwm/pubs/2017/7341-sourcebook-safety-cases.pdf
All national radioactive waste management authorities recognise today that a robust safety case is essential in developing disposal facilities for radioactive waste. To improve the robustness of the safety case for the development of a deep geological repository, a wide variety of activities have been carried out by national programmes and international organisations over the past years. The Nuclear Energy Agency, since first introducing the modern concept of the ?safety case?, has continued to monitor major developments in safety case activities at the international level. This Sourcebook summarises the activities being undertaken by the Nuclear Energy Agency, the European Commission and the International Atomic Energy Agency concerning the safety case for the operational and post-closure phases of geological repositories for radioactive waste that ranges from low-level to high-level waste and for spent fuel. In doing so, it highlights important differences in focus among the three organisations.
Financing the Decommissioning of Nuclear Facilities
English, 21 pages, published: 08/18/16
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.
Japan's Siting Process for the Geological Disposal of High-level Radioactive Waste
An International Peer Review
English, 46 pages, published: 08/04/16
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.
Management of Radioactive Waste after a Nuclear Power Plant Accident
English, 225 pages, published: 12/02/16
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.
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
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.
Strategic Considerations for the Sustainable Remediation of Nuclear Installations
English, 110 pages, published: 05/23/16
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.
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
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.
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
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.
Stakeholder Involvement in Decision Making: A
Short Guide to Issues, Approaches and Resources
English, 62 pages, published: 01/01/16
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.
The Practice of Cost Estimation for Decommissioning of Nuclear Facilities
English, published: 06/01/15
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.
Guide for International Peer Reviews of Decommissioning Cost Studies for Nuclear Facilities
English, 49 pages, published: 10/27/14
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.
Nuclear Site Remediation and Restoration during Decommissioning of Nuclear Installations
English, 244 pages, published: 08/18/14
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.
R&D and Innovation Needs for Decommissioning Nuclear Facilities
English, 314 pages, published: 07/21/14
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.
Stakeholder Confidence in Radioactive Waste Management
An Annotated Glossary of Key Terms
English, 64 pages, published: 03/01/13
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.
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.
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
- 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.