The NEA seeks to assist its member countries in developing safe, sustainable and societally acceptable strategies for the management of all types of radioactive materials, with particular emphasis on the management of long-lived waste and spent fuel and on decommissioning of disused nuclear facilities. The programme of work in these areas is carried out for the most part by the Radioactive Waste Management Committee (RWMC) assisted by three working parties and their subgroups:
Other NEA Committees also have interests in this field: the Committee on Radiation Protection and Public Health (CRPPH) and the Nuclear Development Committee (NDC).
The NEA Radioactive Waste Management Committee (RWMC) created in 1975 is an international committee of senior representatives from regulatory authorities, radioactive waste management and decommissioning organisations, policy making bodies, and research-and-development institutions from the NEA countries. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) participates in the work of the RWMC, and the European Commission (EC) is a full member of the Committee. The RWMC maintains strong ties with national high-level advisory bodies to governments and with transnational bodies such as the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP). Collaboration also takes place with the Governance directorate of the OECD.
The purpose of the RWMC is to support international co-operation in the management of material from nuclear installations, including facility decommissioning and long-term waste management. The Committee implements a programme of work that:
The regulator members of the RWMC also participate in a separate Regulators' Forum (RWMC RF) through which they discuss and report on topics of specific regulatory interest and which determines, where appropriate, how such issues are progressed within the full Committee.
Overall, the RWMC is a unique multinational committee of specialists at the forefront in addressing both the technical and societal requirements for durable and sustainable waste management and decommissioning solutions. It provides a neutral forum where policy makers, regulators and implementing organisations can discuss issues of common interest and develop solutions that meet the diverse needs of its participants.
Publicly available RWMC documents since the year 2000 are accessible via the following link.
Most documents are downloadable.
Last reviewed: 4 January 2015