Radioactive Waste Management Committee (RWMC)
ONKALO Spent Nuclear Fuel Repository (Posiva, Finland)

The NEA Radioactive Waste Management Committee (RWMC) created in 1975 is an international committee which consists of senior representatives from regulatory authorities, radioactive waste management and decommissioning organisations, policymaking bodies and research-and-development institutions from the NEA countries.

The RWMC supports members in the development of safe and economically efficient management of all types of radioactive waste including spent fuel considered as radioactive waste based on the latest scientific and technological knowledge. It provides a neutral forum where policymakers, regulators and implementing organisations can discuss issues of common interest, and develop best practices and feasible solutions that meet the diverse needs of its participants.

Members of the RWMC consist of the NEA member countries as well as the European Commission (EC). There is close collaboration with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which participates in the work of the committee as an observer.

RWMC applies a holistic as well as a sustainable approach to deal with issues in managing radioactive waste in all phases. In this way, the RWMC systematically identifies its activities by focusing on four aspects of radioactive waste management: 1) regulatory and legal; 2) environmental and operation safety; 3) economic; and 4) societal.

The NEA Division of Radioactive Waste Management and Decommissioning (RWMD) supports the Radioactive Waste Management Committee (RWMC) in conducting international peer reviews and providing expert feedback to ensure that best practices in regulatory and technical methodologies are adopted in radioactive waste management.

See radioactive waste management and decommissioning programmes in NEA member countries.

RWMC Infographic
Overall radioactive waste management path
Publications and reports

The regulator members of the RWMC also participate in a separate Regulators' Forum (RF) through which they discuss specific topics of regulatory issues in managing radioactive waste. From 2019, the RF supports both the RWMC and the Committee on Decommissioning of Nuclear Installations and Legacy Management (CDLM) to undertake regulatory challenges in radioactive waste management and nuclear decommissioning and legacy management.

In achieving its objectives, the RWMC is assisted by its working parties and sub-groups, and other expert groups:

* Note: As of 2019, the FSC supports both the RWMC and the CDLM on the societal issues of radioactive waste management, decommissioning and legacy management.

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Martin Brandauer