International Workshop on
Harmonization of Approaches to Assuring Safety within National Radioactive Waste Management Policies and Strategies -
A Common Framework for the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management and Disposal

2-6 July 2007
Cape Town, South Africa

Organized by the
International Atomic Energy Agency

Hosted by the
Government of South Africa through the Department of Minerals and Energy, in cooperation with the National Nuclear Regulator

Announcement


BACKGROUND

Recent international conferences on the safety of radioactive waste management and the first two meetings of the Joint Convention on the Safety of Spent Fuel Management and the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management (2003 and 2006) have all highlighted the need for comprehensive national waste management strategies which encompass all types of radioactive waste from their generation to their reuse, recycling, clearance or disposal.

In giving consideration to national radioactive waste management strategies suitable options for disposal of all waste types have to be determined. Many waste disposal facilities developed to date have been targeted on waste arising from the back end of the nuclear fuel cycle and certain waste generated from the manufacture and use of artificial radionuclides. These are often based on quite large inventories of waste and make use of near surface disposal or disposal at depths of some tens of metres. Some disused sealed sources do not meet waste acceptance criteria for near surface disposal, nor does some waste containing longer lived radionuclide of both natural and anthropogenic origin. The increase in planning for and the actual conduct of decommissioning activities has also identified the fact that significant amounts of radioactive waste will arise with low levels of radioactive content in the near future, waste that does not require the robust containment provisions typical of modern near surface radioactive waste disposal facilities. Increasing attention is also being given to waste containing radionuclides of natural origin, often arising from activities not associated with the nuclear fuel cycle or traditional industrial and medical uses of radioactive material.

In view of these various factors the IAEA has given consideration in recent years to the development of a common framework for the management and disposal of radioactive waste. The framework is intended to assist with the development of rational and optimised national radioactive waste management strategies that will provide and assure the necessary levels of safety. An essential component of such a framework is a comprehensive system for the classification of radioactive waste and related work is currently underway on the revision of the international standard on the classification of radioactive waste. This work covering all waste types and management and disposal options is at an advanced stage and it is deemed that the time is right for both to be discussed more broadly at an international level prior to finalization and publication.

OBJECTIVE

The objective of the workshop is to create awareness amongst interested parties of the concepts and ideas forming the basis for the common framework and the issues that have arisen in revision of the international standards on the classification of radioactive waste, to provide an international platform for their discussion, and to work towards an internationally harmonised basis for national radioactive waste management policies and implementing strategies providing and assure high levels of safety.

SCOPE OF THE WORKSHOP

The main topics to be covered will be the global nuclear safety regime, types and inventories of radioactive waste, disposal options, the common framework and development of national policy and strategy.

AUDIENCE

The target audience is government and industry representative: senior policy makers, regulators and facility operators, and their technical experts. The workshop is directed at a broad spectrum of professional disciplines, including; radioactive waste management, radiation protection, environmental engineering, mechanical and civil engineering, radiological assessment.

PROGRAMME

The workshop will have an opening session to provide background information followed by topical sessions examining the relevant issues which will be introduced by recognised experts. Ample time for discussion will be provided. Panel sessions will provide an opportunity for extensive exchange of views with the audience. The chairpersons will draw conclusions from the presentations and discussions.

Poster sessions will be organized for presentation of contributed papers and a closing session will summarize the principal observations made during the workshop.

Scientific visits to the radioactive waste and spent fuel management facilities of the Koeberg Nuclear Power Station and the Vaalputs radioactive waste disposal site will be offered. A public forum will be provided to enable interested members of the public to gain an insight into the issues under discussion. Limited space will be available for commercial vendors displays/exhibits. Interested parties should contact the Scientific Secretary of the meeting for detail.

CONTRIBUTED PAPERS AND POSTERS

Papers may be submitted as contributions to the workshop. Due to the time available and the intention to provide time for discussion it will not be possible to accept all the papers for oral presentation, but they will be provided in advance of the workshop. Authors of contributed papers are encouraged to present the substance of the paper in the form of a poster. Comments or questions on contributed papers can be raised at the appropriate topical session. Deadline for Submission of Contributed Papers is 31 May 2007. The papers may be sent directly by e-mail to the Scientific Secretary. Guidelines for the preparation and submission of contributed papers and posters will be provided to intending authors upon request. The proceedings will be published as soon as possible after the meeting.

MEETING ARRANGEMENTS

The Conference will take place at the BMW Pavilion, Cape Town Waterfront. All persons wishing to participate in the meeting must notify the Scientific Secretary through the competent national authority (Ministry of Foreign Affairs or national atomic energy authority). Information can be found on the IAEA Website: http://www-pub.iaea.org/MTCD/Meetings/Meetings.asp. Participants whose designations have been received by the IAEA will be notified directly before the meeting.

As a general rule, the IAEA does not pay the cost of attendance. The costs for the organization of the meeting are borne by the IAEA and the Host Government. No registration fee is charged to participants.

The working language of the workshop will be English. All communications, including abstracts and contributed papers, must be sent to the IAEA in English.

The workshop is being organized by the IAEA and hosted by the Government of South Africa through the Department of Minerals and Energy, in cooperation with the National Nuclear Regulator. The Scientific Secretariat of the workshop is:

Mr. Phil Metcalf
NSRW, International Atomic Energy Agency
P.O. Box 100, Wagramer Strasse 5
A-1400 Vienna, Austria
Tel: +43-1-2600-22676;
Fax: +43-1-26007-22677
Email: [email protected]

 

ACCOMMODATION AND VISAS:

A number of hotels are in walking distance from the BMW pavilion. Bookings can be made directly with your hotel of choice. The link to the VA Waterfront is: http://www.waterfront.co.za/holiday/hotels/


Passport and Visa Requirements

Visitors from all nations are welcome in South Africa but must have a valid passport and usually need a visa. Please consult your travel agent or a South African Embassy well in advance regarding visa requirements.

All delegates are encouraged to visit the web site of the SA Department of Home Affairs firstly to find out if they need a visa and secondly, to find out where their closest designated SA Embassy or consulate is situated. A visa application form can also be downloaded from the web site or below. The web site address to find your nearest consulate or embassy is: http://www.home-affairs.gov.za/sa-abroad/salist.htm.

You are then required to fill in the application form (DI84 form) and request a letter of invitation from the IAEA Secretariat. The application form and letter of invitation are to be sent by courier or through a travel agency to the nearest designated SA Embassy or Consulate in good time to obtain a visa.