International Symposium on Disposal of Low Activity Radioactive Waste

13 - 17 December 2004
Cordoba, Spain
Meeting Summary

Organized by the
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)

Cosponsored by the
Agence nationale pour la gestion des déchets radioactifs (ANDRA) France

In cooperation with the
OECD Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA)

Hosted by the
Government of Spain
through the
Empresa Nacional de Residuos Radiactivos, S.A. (ENRESA) and the
Consejo de Seguridad Nuclear (CSN)

Meeting Summary


Deadline for submission of hotel reservations: 26 November 2004

Deadline for registration for El Cabril field trip: 1 December 2004

Participation Form (Form A): PDF, Word
Form for Submission of a Paper (Form B): PDF, Word
Grant Application Form (Form C): PDF, Word

Summaries of Topical Sessions

Information for Participants
IAEA Guidelines for Authors on Preparation of Manuscripts for Proceedings
Guidelines for the Preparation and Presentation of a Poster
Hotel Reservation Form
Train Timetable Mardid - Córdoba - Madrid
All Europe Rail
Euro Railways

Rail Europe

IAEA´s Proceedings Paper Template

To download the template, right-click on the icon to the left and select "Save Link As" from the menu. The corresponding Winzip archive contains the template itself as well as the guidelines for using it.

To read the guidelines on-line, click on the PDF icon to the left.


(This Conference Announcement as PDF file)


Low and intermediate level radioactive waste (LILW), containing both short and long lived radionuclides, are produced in the nuclear industry from activities such as uranium enrichment, fuel fabrication, reactor operations, decommissioning of nuclear facilities and fuel reprocessing, as well as in research laboratories, universities, hospitals and industries. The safe management of radioactive waste and specifically the need to protect humans and the environment now and in the future, has been given particular attention both internationally and in Member States having well established nuclear energy programmes. This issue is also of concern in many other Member States that are using radioactive materials only for medical, industrial or research purposes, as well in countries that generate waste with radioactive contamination from non-nuclear industrial activities.

The largest volumes of radioactive waste currently generated in Member States fall into the category of LILW. During the past few decades, much of this waste has been placed in near surface repositories. Consequently, methods and technologies for the disposal of LILW have developed and evolved considerably. More than 80 near surface disposal facilities have been built worldwide and more are under development. These facilities are designed to receive primarily short lived LILW containing limited amounts of long lived radionuclides. With the establishment of specific international safety standards for this type of facility, safety reviews and, in some cases, repository upgrading is taking place in Member States with repositories built to earlier standards.

An issue of current interest in many Member States is the management, and in particular the disposal, of the large volumes of very low activity radioactive waste derived primarily from the decommissioning of nuclear facilities. Possible management strategies for this type of waste are release after clearance, recycle within the industry, or disposal in a controlled facility. Substantial volumes of such waste exist and will be generated in the future. Many countries are seeking safe and cost-effective management solutions for this waste.

Several types of low activity radioactive waste, primarily those containing long lived radionuclides require special consideration in selecting appropriate disposal options. Examples are the technologically enhanced naturally occurring radioactive materials derived from industrial activities outside the nuclear sector; irradiated graphite waste from gas cooled reactors; some waste containing depleted uranium; long lived radioactively contaminated toxic waste, etc. A unique feature of these types of waste is that, even though the activity levels are low, the long half-lives of the radionuclides may render them unsuitable for disposal in a typical near surface disposal facility. Hence, alternative disposal options need to be explored.

The safe management of disused radioactive sources is another waste management topic of current interest. Although not strictly low activity waste, the topic is included in the Symposium because of the widespread interest in this issue. Of particular concern are the long lived radioactive sources, such as 226Ra. Although the conditioning and packaging of disused radioactive sources are being carried out in many Member States, affording containment during the storage periods of a few decades, perpetual storage of waste is not considered to be a sustainable practice. Hence, innovative approaches and technologies, for example intrusion resistant, borehole- or shaft-type disposal facilities, are being explored for the safe disposal of disused radioactive sources.

The outcomes of recent international conferences organized by the International Atomic Energy Agency on topics, such as Issues and Trends in Radioactive Waste Management, Vienna, 9–13 December 2002; and Management of Radioactive Waste from Non Power Applications/Sharing the Experience, 5-9 November 2001, Malta, have also heightened awareness that the management of these kinds of waste is a recurring and emerging issue in many Member States that should be taken up at an international forum.


The main objective of the symposium is to provide an international forum for experts, specialists and decision makers to: (a) discuss policies and strategies for the safe management of low activity radioactive waste; (b) examine possible approaches for the safe disposal of the various waste types in this category; (c) share experiences and information relevant to this subject; and (d) explore future directions.


The symposium encompasses a broad spectrum of professional disciplines (including radioactive waste management, environmental science, radiation protection and radiological assessment), and therefore those attending the symposium are expected to include government officials, senior policy makers, persons from regulatory bodies, including associated external technical experts, and persons responsible for implementing radioactive waste management and disposal facilities.


The symposium will be structured to facilitate focused discussion on specific topics and issues related to the management of low activity radioactive waste. Senior experts will introduce the major issues in each topical session. Panel sessions will provide an opportunity for a more intensive exchange of views on important technology and safety issues with the audience. Appointed chairpersons will draw conclusions from the presentations and discussions. The closing session will summarize the main conclusions drawn from the topical sessions and from discussions during the symposium.

Contributed papers will be displayed during poster sessions.


Session 1: Policies and Strategies for Low Activity Radioactive Waste Management and Disposal.

This session will provide an overview of current practices for the management and disposal of low activity radioactive waste from a policy and strategy standpoint. The session will include talks outlining national policies and strategies for low activity radioactive waste disposal, international initiatives and guidance in this area, and the relevance of the “Joint Convention” for the management of these wastes. Challenging issues, which might be the subject of future international discussion and co-operation efforts, will also be identified.

Session 2: Very Low Activity Radioactive Waste.

This session will focus on the presentation and discussion of different management solutions for very low activity materials, with particular emphasis on the management strategy derived by introducing a “very low level waste” category. The unique aspects of the VLLW approach, as well as the technical, safety, and economic and social merits of the approach will be discussed.

Session 3: Low Activity Radioactive Waste from Decommissioning.

From the waste management perspective, decommissioning typically involves removal and disposal of large amounts of materials. The availability of radioactive waste management routes can strongly influence the decommissioning strategy. The possible clearance of materials, and criteria for site release have a great influence on the amount of radioactive waste to be managed. Presentations in this session will provide an understanding of characterization, types and amounts of radioactive waste generated in decommissioning of nuclear installations and their management for disposal, as well as their re-cycling and re-use.

Session 4: Long-Lived Low Activity Radioactive Waste.

The presentations in this session will address long-lived wastes including but not limited to naturally-occurring, technologically-enhanced radioactive materials. Among the topics discussed will be the types and origin of long-lived wastes, inventory of such wastes, their categorization and how they are managed or disposed of at present. Future disposal options and factors being considered in their selection will be presented.

Session 5: Unique Low Activity Waste / Other Materials.

The presentations in this session focus on raising awareness of issues associated with some unique low activity waste and other materials. These include the management and disposal of wastes such as reactor graphite, disused sealed sources, some NORM and TENORM materials, and other slightly contaminated materials. The presentations will highlight the different management practices between true low activity wastes, and materials that might be regarded as resources. The presentations describe the approaches adopted by different countries to deal with these challenging issues, and how to a certain extent they could be considered as internationally recommended solutions.


A full day tour to the El Cabril near surface disposal facility for low and intermediate level radioactive waste is planned for Wednesday, 15 December 2004.


Anyone wishing to participate in the symposium must send a completed Participation Form (Form A) through one of the competent official authorities (Ministry of Foreign Affairs or national atomic energy authority — see Section 10) for subsequent transmission to the IAEA. A participant will be accepted only if the Participation Form is transmitted to the IAEA by one of the official channels. Details on the logistics of the symposium will be sent to participants approximately three months before the symposium.


Concise papers on issues falling within the scope of the topical and panel discussion sessions (see Section 5 above) may be submitted as contributions to the symposium. These papers will not be presented orally, but will be included in a Book of Contributed Papers to be distributed free of charge to all participants upon registration. Authors of contributed papers are expected to present the substance of their papers in the form of a poster, which will be exhibited in the Poster Area.

The contributed papers must not exceed four pages in length and must be submitted in English. Each contributed paper must be preceded by an abstract, not exceeding 300 words. Authors should state to which topical session their contribution relates (see Section 5).

Authors are urged to make use of the IAEA´s Proceedings Paper Template in Word 2000:

To download the template, right-click on the icon to the left and select "Save Target As" from the menu. The corresponding Winzip archive contains the template.

Instructions for the "IAEA Proceedings Paper" Template.

Guidelines for the preparation of a contributed paper are given in the attached IAEA Guidelines for Authors on the Preparation of Manuscripts for Proceedings.

Contributed papers should be submitted electronically to email address:

or sent on diskette to the Scientific Secretariat. The electronic submission should identify the paper, the proposed session topic and the software application used (the use of Microsoft Word is encouraged). To permit selection and review, the electronic version of the contributed paper must be received by the Scientific Secretariat not later than 30 September 2004.

In addition to the electronic submission, a hard copy of the contributed paper must also be submitted through one of the competent official authorities (see Section 10), together with a completed Form for Submission of a Paper (Form B) and the Participation Form (Form A), to reach the IAEA also by 30 September 2004.

Only papers that have been received by the above deadline and through the appropriate official channels will be considered for inclusion in the Book of Contributed Papers. The Secretariat reserves the right to exclude papers that do not comply with its quality standards or do not apply to one of the topics in Section 5 above.

Papers that are not sent through the official channels and papers arriving after the deadline will not be considered.

Authors will be informed by end of August 2004 whether their papers have been accepted for inclusion in the Book of Contributed Papers and for presentation as a poster.


No registration fee is charged to participants.

As a general rule, the IAEA does not pay for participants´ travel and living expenses. However, limited funds are available to help meet the cost of attendance of selected specialists, mainly those from developing countries with low economic resources. Generally, not more than one travel grant may be awarded to any one country. To apply for a travel grant, please send the Grant Application Form C — typewritten or clearly printed — through your appropriate government authority (see Section 10), together with the Participation Form and, if relevant, the Form for Submission of a Paper, to reach the IAEA at the latest by 28 June 2004. Incomplete or late applications will not be considered. The grants will be lump sums usually covering only part of the cost of attendance.


The Participation Form (Form A), the Form for Submission of a Paper (Form B) and, if applicable, the Grant Application Form (Form C) must be sent through one of the competent official authorities (Ministry of Foreign Affairs or national atomic energy authority) for subsequent transmission to the IAEA. Communications concerning technical matters should be sent to the Scientific Secretariat, and communications on administrative/logistical matters to the Symposium Organizer (see Section 16).


A preliminary programme of the symposium will be sent by airmail to all officially designated participants well in advance of the meeting and will also be available on the symposium web site (see Section 17).

The Final Programme and a Book of Contributed Papers, containing all papers accepted by the Programme Committee, will be available free of charge upon registration at the symposium.

The proceedings of the symposium, to be published by the IAEA, will contain the opening addresses, the keynote presentations, the other invited speakers´ papers, the chairpersons´ summaries, and the symposium conclusions presented by the President of the Symposium on the last day of the symposium. The proceedings of the symposium will be published by the IAEA as soon as possible after the meeting.


The working language of the symposium will be English. All communications must be sent to the IAEA in English.


Detailed information on accommodation and other administrative details will be sent to all officially designated participants approximately three months before the meeting. It will also be available on the symposium web site.

14. VISA

Designated participants who require a visa (Schengen visa) to enter Spain should submit the necessary application to the nearest diplomatic or consular representative of Spain as soon as possible. Please note that the procedure could take up to three weeks.


Deadline for receipt of electronic version of contributed papers 30 September 2004
Deadline for receipt of Form for Submission of a Paper (Form B) and copy of contributed paper through official channels 30 September 2004
Deadline for receipt of Grant Application Form (Form C) (if applicable) through official channels 28 June 2004.


Please visit this IAEA symposium web page regularly for any new and/or updated information regarding this symposium.


Scientific Secretariat of the Conference:

Mr. J-M. Potier
Division of Nuclear Fuel Cycle and Waste Technology
International Atomic Energy Agency
P.O. Box 100
Wagramer Strasse 5
A-1400 Vienna, Austria

Telephone No.: (+ 43 1) 2600 22662
Telefax No.: (+ 43 1) 2600 7
E-mail address for paper submission:

Mr. John H. Rowat
Division of Radiation and Waste Safety
International Atomic Energy Agency
P.O. Box 100
Wagramer Strasse 5
A-1400 Vienna, Austria

Telephone No.: (+ 43 1) 2600 22552
Telefax No.: (+ 43 1) 2600 7

Administration and organization:

Ms. K. Morrison
Division of Conference and Document Services
Conference Services Section
International Atomic Energy Agency
P.O. Box 100
Wagramer Strasse 5
A-1400 Vienna, Austria

Telephone No.: (+ 43 1) 2600 21317 (or 21311)
Telefax No.: (+ 43 1) 2600 7