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[en] Radioactive waste repositories are designed to be intrinsically safe in that they are not dependent on the presence or intervention of humans. In response to this challenge, the Nuclear Energy Agency initiated the Preservation of Records, Knowledge and Memory (RK and M) Across Generations Initiative, calling on the international community to help create specific means to preserve RK and M. The concept of a key information file (KIF) emerged in response to the challenge presented by the large volumes of RK and M material generated by national disposal programmes. This concept has been developed into an important component of a RK and M preservation strategy. The KIF is designed to be a single, short document, produced in a standard format, with the aim of allowing society to understand the nature and intent of a repository, and thus to reduce the likelihood of unnecessary human intrusion. It should be made openly available and ultimately be widely distributed. This report describes the KIF concept in detail, in a manner that should enable those concerned with any particular repository to create their own versions. Three draft key information files, currently under development to support RK and M preservation in France, Sweden and the United States, are provided as examples.
[en] Radioactive waste repositories are designed to isolate waste from the living environment without human intervention over extended periods of time. Nevertheless, the intention is not to abandon the repositories, but to provide the oversight that is necessary to ensure that they are not forgotten by society. In response to this challenge, the Nuclear Energy Agency launched the international initiative 'Preservation of Records, Knowledge and Memory (RK and M) Across Generations'. As a result, an in-depth understanding of this issue was developed, as well as a specific methodology to address it. The RK and M preservation toolbox, for example, offers a menu with 35 different preservation mechanisms and guidelines on how to combine and implement them. This report may be used as a general guide to the RK and M preservation topic. It presents a historical review, addresses ethical considerations, analyses the fundamentals of RK and M preservation, outlines various mechanisms and indicates how to develop these mechanisms into a systemic RK and M preservation strategy. The report aims to inspire and assist a variety of actors so that they can discuss and develop national and repository-specific RK and M preservation strategies