International Workshop Demonstrating the Safety and Licensing of Radioactive Waste Disposal

14 December 2009
Cape Town, South Africa

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Announcement


International Workshop

Demonstrating the Safety and Licensing of Radioactive Waste Disposal

 

A supporting event to the International Conference on Effective Nuclear Regulatory Systems: Further Enhancing the Global Nuclear Safety and Security Regime from 14 December 2009

 

Cape Town, South Africa
14 December 2009

BACKGROUND

The IAEA will convene the International Conference on Effective Nuclear Regulatory Systems: Further Enhancing the Global Nuclear Safety and Security Regime from 14 to 18 December in Cape Town, South Africa. The conference sessions commence on 15 December and will encompass the regulatory system for all facilities and activities. In view of current developments in radioactive waste disposal, including spent fuel which has been declared as waste, it has been decided to convene on 14 December an International Workshop: Demonstrating the Safety and Licensing of Radioactive Waste Disposal, as a supporting event to the international conference.

A revised and consolidated international Safety Requirements standard for radioactive waste disposal has been developed over the past three years and its approval and adoption is anticipated for the second half of 2009. The standard covers disposal in near surface facilities of all types, including those for very low level waste and mining and minerals processing waste, to disposal at depth; from tens to hundreds of metres, for intermediate and high level waste. At the same time a supporting Safety Guide is under development within the safety standards series addressing the safety case and supporting safety assessment for radioactive waste disposal.

A particular issue that has given rise to considerable deliberation during the development of the standards is the status of facilities beyond the end of their operational lifetime. Proposals have been formulated to clarify and address aspects such as longer term institutional control, the end of the licensing process and the consideration of human intrusion for near surface facilities. Use has been made of the recent recommendations of the ICRP in their publication 103.

In addition to developments with the international safety standards a number of countries are currently moving towards the licensing of geological disposal facilities. This has led to a realization of the potential benefits of having an internationally harmonized approach to the licensing process. Within the European region an initiative has been underway for some time on this harmonization process and at the international level the IAEA and the OECD NEA both have projects underway namely the GEOSAF and IGSC projects.
These harmonization projects are addressing the long term nature of the projects and the need for step by step processes with the concurrent need for decisions to be made for moving from one step the next. Such decisions have to be made with some elements of uncertainty, which reduce as the process of site investigation and facility development evolves. Key issues are the structure and content of the safety case and its evolution over the project lifetime, the approach to supporting safety assessment and the safety criteria for assessing long term post closure safety.

The workshop will deal with both the safety standards and geological disposal in two sessions, with a view to identifying the regulatory implications for consideration at the subsequent international conference.

OBJECTIVE

The specific objectives of the workshop are (i) to create awareness of the developments taking place in the international safety standards for radioactive waste disposal and the international work aimed at harmonization of approaches to demonstrating the safety of geological disposal, and (ii) to identify the related implications for the licensing process. It is intended that the findings from the workshop will be reported and discussed at the International Conference Effective Nuclear Regulatory Systems: Further Enhancing the Global Nuclear Safety and Security Regime, which will take place immediately following the workshop.

SCOPEOF THE WORKSHOP

The main topics to be covered will be the developments that have taken place in the international safety standards for radioactive waste disposal and the international work on harmonization of approaches to demonstrating the safety of geological disposal and the implications for the licensing process.

AUDIENCE

The target audience is government and industry representative: policy makers, regulators and facility operators, and their technical experts. The workshop is directed primarily at demonstrating the safety and licensing of radioactive waste disposal.
PROGRAMME

The workshop will have two sessions: the first dealing with developments in the safety standards for radioactive waste disposal and the associated licensing implications, and the second with the harmonization of approaches to demonstrating the safety of geological disposal and the related licensing implications. Each session will commence with an introductory keynote presentation to be followed by a panel discussion of key issues associated with the topics and also with issues identified by the workshop participants.

Session I
09:00 12:30

Developments in International Safety Standards on Radioactive Waste Disposal

Ia Keynote Presentation

Ib Roundtable Discussion

Session II
14:00 17:30

Harmonization in Safety Demonstration for Geological Disposal

Ia Keynote Presentation

Ib Roundtable Discussion

MEETING ARRANGEMENTS
The workshop will take place at the International Convention Centre, Cape Town Waterfront, and is being organized by the IAEA and hosted by the Government of South Africa through the Department of Energy, in cooperation with the National Nuclear Regulator. The working language of the workshop will be English.

All persons wishing to participate in the meeting must register for the international conference Further Enhancing the Global Nuclear Safety and Security Regime, through the competent national authority (Ministry of Foreign Affairs or national atomic energy authority) and must notify the Scientific Secretary of the workshop (see below). Information on registration for the international conference can be found on the IAEA website: http://www-pub.iaea.org/MTCD/Meetings/Announcements.asp?ConfID=35791 .

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 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: P.Metcalf@iaea.org

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 website 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.