Remembering the past in the future: Building awareness of radioactive waste repositories together
Background and context

How can knowledge of high-level radioactive waste existence, nature and history be passed on to future generations? The NEA Expert Group on Awareness Preservation (EGAP) has been focusing on this question and is working on new concepts and alternative approaches to be taken into account in a comprehensive strategy. Progress towards viable and shared records, knowledge and memory (RK&M) preservation strategies was documented in the RK&M initiative’s final report Preservation of Records, Knowledge and Memory Across Generations

In order to disseminate and discuss first results, receive feedback and broaden the discussion to include various stakeholders, the EGAP organised a workshop Remembering the past in the future: Building awareness of radioactive waste repositories together. Following the international conference on RK&M / awareness preservation held in Verdun, France, in 2014, the workshop in Dessel, Belgium, meant to take up and foster this debate in 2022.

The workshop was initiated and led by the EGAP in collaboration with the NEA Forum for Stakeholder Confidence (FSC). A dedicated Programme Committee had been established to design the content and format of this public workshop, including representatives from the EGAP, FSC, the Expert Group on Archiving for Radioactive Waste Management Activities (EGAR) and the NEA Secretariat.

The event was hosted at Tabloo in Dessel, a multi-functional visitor centre developed near the site of the future radioactive waste disposal facility for low and intermediate short-lived waste. Tabloo was developed by the Belgian National Agency for Radioactive Waste and enriched Fissile Material (ONDRAF/NIRAS) and local community partnerships, and serves as an example of a local approach for awareness preservation of a nuclear repository.

Participants heard from representatives of the International Atomic Energy Agency, the European Commission, local partnerships in Belgium, and other relevant NEA groups such as the Regulators’ Forum. Contributions from specialists outside of the nuclear field were included in the content of presentations and discussions to foster exchange of ideas and experience.  

An optional site visit to the HADES Underground Research Laboratory was held on the last day of the workshop. 

  • Share views: present outcomes of EGAP work from 2020-2022 and solicit input from various stakeholders, broaden the discussion and include feedback in the upcoming report.
  • Foster a community of practice: encourage abstract submissions for appropriate session topics (not limited to nuclear instances) from stakeholders/participants in order to gather diverse perspectives and demonstrate a community of practice.
  • Contribute to awareness preservation: provide participants with a flyer/pamphlet to take away from the workshop.
Programme Commitee

Ayako ARAKI (NUMO, Japan)

Anna BERGSTEN (Osthammar, Sweden)

Jean-Noël DUMONT (Andra, France)

Robbe GEYSMANS (SCK-CEN, Belgium)

Gabriella HONTI (PURAM, Hungary)

Stephan HOTZEL (BASE, Germany)

Martin KUNZE (Memory of Mankind, Austria)


Benjamin OFFEN (BASE, Germany)


Practical information