The Integration Group for the Safety Case (IGSC) Symposium 2018

    Current Understanding and Future Direction for the Geological Disposal of Radioactive Waste

    10-11 October 2018
    Rotterdam, Netherlands

    Hosted by COVRA
    Co-organised by EC and IAEA
    Sponsored by CNSC, BGE-Technology, Nagra, NUMO, Quintessa, RWM and VTT


    Over the past five years, major developments have taken place in a number of national programmes for the geological disposal of radioactive waste. Significant experience has been obtained both in preparing and reviewing safety cases for the operational and long‑term safety of deep geological repositories (DGRs). Some countries are approaching the industrial implementation of a geological disposal and are, therefore, increasingly focusing on the feasibility of constructing and operating a repository that is safe and secure in the short and long term. New insights are also available concerning the basis for regulations and the challenge of communicating highly technical information to a wide range of stakeholders.

    The NEA Integration Group for the Safety Case (IGSC) has been organising a series of symposia focusing on the development of a competent and robust safety case since 2007, in co‑operation with other international organisations. The first symposium, "Safety Cases for the Deep Disposal of Radioactive Waste: Where Do We Stand?", and the second, "State of the Art", took place in 2007 and 2013, respectively. The purpose of the 2018 symposium was to determine and document achievements since 2013, to share good practices and consider future direction.


    The symposium focused on the technical aspects of the safety case for the post‑closure phase of DGRs. The interplay of technical feasibility, engineering design issues, operational and post‑closure safety and non‑technical challenges such as safety case communication were explored.


    The main aim was to share practical experiences on preparing, developing, documenting and reviewing a safety case from both the implementers' and reviewers' perspectives. Others included:

    • to learn from national programmes about issues concerning the siting, construction, operation and post-closure phases;
    • to identify potential challenges that may arise as a repository programme matures and the safety case moves to represent an actual facility and inventory;
    • to understand different players' perspectives on safety case communication, i.e. implementers, regulators and communities;
    • to exchange useful information for developing work programmes through international co‑operation.


    The symposium was open to individuals concerned with the geological disposal of radioactive waste, including implementers, regulators, technical and social science researchers, and interested stakeholders.

    Conference papers

    Papers from the 2018 IGSC Symposium 2018 are now available online where authors have signed a grant of rights agreement. Where no link has been provided, it is because the lead author did not sign a grant of rights agreement, even if co-authors did, or because no authors signed a grant of rights agreement. Proceedings of this symposium are in preparation and will be published by the NEA in 2020. Lead authors are encouraged to submit grant of rights agreements by 1 June for their papers to be included in the proceedings.

    Download the conference papers

    Programme committee

    BAILEY Lucy
    RWM (UK)
    OTSUKA Ichiro
    CIAMBRELLA Massimo
    PEAKE Tom
    EPA (USA)
    CUÑADO P. Miguel
    POLEY Arjen
    NRG (NL)
    DUNAGAN Sean
    SNL (US)
    RÖHLIG Klaus-Jürgen
    TUC (DE)
    ILETT Doug
    EA (UK)
    SEHER Holger
    GRS (DE)
    LI Jinfeng
    VERHOEF Ewoud
    COVRA (NL)
    KWONG Gloria
    WOLLRATH Jürgen
    BGE (DE)
    NGUYEN Son
    CNSC (CA)


    1. Opening remarks
    2. Keynote lectures – Safety cases in the Netherlands applied to DGRs and other facilities
      Development of the safety case in the Netherlands
      A safety case for a petroleum facility in the Netherlands
    3. Safety case and siting
    4. Safety case and licensing
    5. Keynote Lecture – Safety case in non-nuclear RWM facilities
    6. Safety case and non-technical stakeholders
      Conference dinner with poster session
    7. International developments since 2013
    8. Parallel sessions
      Technical, regulatory and societal issues for the safety case
    9. Panel discussion
    10. Closing remarks

    Download the programme