After decades of research, analyses and engineering tests, the international scientific community is confident that placing high-level radioactive waste in deep geological repositories (DGRs) is both safe and effective.
DGR projects for radioactive waste containing long-lived radionuclides raise specific nuclear liability issues related to potential risks and the long-term behaviour of the installation. In this context, the NEA Working Group on Deep Geological Repositories and Nuclear Liability (WPDGR) was established in 2016 to assess how the nuclear liability regimes should be applied to DGR projects.
The group held its plenary meeting on 2-3 March 2021, bringing together 30 radioactive waste management, radiological protection and nuclear liability experts from 14 NEA member countries and representatives of the nuclear insurance industry.
Discussions focused primarily on the group’s forthcoming report Deep Geological Repositories and Nuclear Civil Liability. The report will provide decision makers with a comprehensive overview of DGR projects and nuclear liability. It will also explore challenges related to nuclear liability as applicable to DGRs.
During the plenary meeting, the group also agreed to address the topic of nuclear liability as applicable to near-surface repositories in the 2021-2022 period.