Sixth International Conference on Geological Repositories (ICGR-6): Advancing Geological Repositories from Concept to Operation

Spent nuclear fuel repository site, Olkiluoto, Finland. Photo: Kallerna.

 

Introduction

The Sixth International Conference on Geological Repositories (ICGR) will take place in Helsinki, Finland from 4-8 April 2022. The conference itself will take place on 4-7 April, and a site visit to a low- and intermediate-level waste repository with an exhibition on the underground rock characterisation facility (ONKALO) at Olkiluoto, Finland will take place on 8 April. The conference will bring together senior‑level decision makers from countries advancing programmes for deep geological repositories.

The target audience is composed of all stakeholders related to geological repositories, including engineers and scientists in radioactive waste management, implementers, research organisations, regulators, decision makers, responsible government ministries, environmental organisations and the public. International organisations are also invited. University students (Bachelor, Master and PhD students) and young professionals with 0-5 years’ work experience or under 30 years of age are encouraged to register for the Younger Generation Session, as well as to participate in discussions in other sessions.

Objectives

The objectives of the conference are:

  • to take stock of progress made since 2016 in developing and implementing geological repositories for long-lived radioactive waste, and to advance mutual learning through the international forum for the exchange of perspectives and experiences;
  • to examine the latest issues and challenges encountered by various stakeholders in different developmental stages by sharing experiences among countries developing geological repositories;
  • to enhance international co-operation for transforming research results into practical and reliable technologies for the long-term implementation of disposal facilities;
  • to identify opportunities to strengthen co-operation for building and maintaining confidence in the geological repository life cycle;
  • to improve involvement of the younger generation in the development and research of geological disposal.
Background

Worldwide consensus exists within the international community that geological repositories provide the necessary long-term safety and security to isolate long-lived waste from the human environment over extended timescales. It is also feasible to construct these repositories using current technologies. However, challenges remain in many countries as regards the technical merits and safety of repositories, including building and maintaining public confidence, availability of skilled staff as well as transfer of information and expertise. The involvement of the younger generation is also often challenging, but crucial for the sustainable development of geological disposals.

Building upon the success of previous conferences held in Denver (1999), Stockholm (2003), Berne (2007), Toronto (2012) and Paris (2016), the sixth ICGR brings together high-level decision makers from responsible government ministries, regulatory bodies, waste management organisations, research institutes and local stakeholders, as well as young professionals and students to review current perspectives of geological repository development. The sixth ICGR on advancing geological repositories from concept to operation is designed to show the significant progress in developing geological repositories over the last two decades by:

  • promoting the sharing of information and experience;
  • discussing various best practices in demonstrating technical reliability;
  • sharing approaches in building human capacity and building stakeholder confidence in the safe construction and operation of long-term geological repositories.
Practical information

Venue

The conference will be held in Congress hall of Paasitorni in Helsinki, Finland.

Hotels near this venue include:

Key Dates
  • 31 January 2022 – Issue of final programme
  • 28 February 2022 – End of submission of presentations
  • 6 March 2022 – End of registration
  • 4 – 8 April 2022 – Conference
Organisers and Programme Committee

Organisers

The co-organisers of the conference are the NEA and the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, Finland. The local host is the FinNuclear Association.

The conference is organised in co-operation with the:

Programme Committee

The NEA Secretariat and the Programme Committee are collaborating on conference preparation. Programme Committe members are listed below.

Gianfranco BRUNETTI

EC

Seifallah BEN HADJ HASSINE

EC

Bruce CAIRNS

NDA, UK

Daniel DELORT

Andra, France

Alice DIMA

ANDR, Romania

Roger GARBIL

EC

Jussi HEINONEN

STUK, Finland

Pascale KÜNZI

BFE, Switzerland

Vladimir LEBEDEV

NEA

Haimanot YILMA

NEA

Morgan PACKER

NEA

Takune KURATA

NEA

Gerald NIEDER-WESTERMANN

IAEA

Christopher REGAN

NRC, USA

Minori KATO

NEA

Lisa SMADJA

NEA

John STEIN

NEA

Rebecca TADESSE

NEA

Hiroyuki UMEKI

NUMO, Japan

Megumi ASANO-ULMONEN

FinNuclear, Finland