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

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



The Sixth International Conference on Geological Repositories (ICGR) will take place in Helsinki, Finland from 7-11 June 2021. The conference itself will take place on 7-10 June, 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 11 June. 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.


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.

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


The conference will be held in Sirkus Hall of Paasitorni in Helsinki, Finland.

Hotels near this venue include:


Exhibition booths will be set up for no more than 19 organisations to showcase advancements in technologies and geological repository development. Exhibition booths will remain open during all sessions and breaks. All exhibitors will be provided with one 45 x 120 cm table and 2 chairs. Poster boards are available for the first ten organisations that register. A fee of EUR 6 000 is due for each exhibition booth. The exhibitor fee is EUR 8 000 for each exhibition booth when logos are shown in programmes, totems and other materials. 


Choose one of the two registration links below:

  • For participants, chairs, speakers and graduate students (Master and PhD students):
    • A fee of EUR 350 applies (except for graduate students); payment by credit card or bank transfer.
    • Registration and payment deadline for participants, chairs and speakers: 6 May 2021.
    • If Master and PhD students are interested in speaking in Sessions 2-4, they must submit a 300-500 word synthesis of their presentation. Speakers will be selected by the NEA Secretariat based on the documents submitted. The NEA will cover transportation and accommodation costs of three selected students. 
    • Registration deadline for graduate students: 28 February 2021.
  • For young professionals only:
    • A fee of EUR 175 applies; payment by credit card or bank transfer.
  • Interested members of the media should contact for press arrangements.
Key Dates
  • 28 February 2020 – 1st announcement
  • 30 March 2020 – Registration and exhibition application open
  • 31 December 2020 – End of exhibition application
  • 28 February 2021 – End of submission of biographical forms from Chairs and speakers as well as synthesis of presentations from Master and PhD students
  • 31 March 2021 – Issue of selection results of Master and PhD student speakers and final programme
  • 23 April 2021 – End of submission of presentations
  • 6 May 2021 – End of registration
  • 7 – 11 June 2021 – Conference
Organisers and Programme Committee


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 being held 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





Andra, France


Rosatom, Russian Federation

Alice DIMA

ANDR, Romania




STUK, Finland



Pascale KÜNZI

BFE, Switzerland

Jinfeng LI


Kamishan MARTIN




Christopher REGAN








Hiroyuki UMEKI

NUMO, Japan


FinNuclear, Finland