Results 1 - 1 of 1
Results 1 - 1 of 1. Search took: 0.016 seconds
[en] In its 2008 Nuclear Energy Outlook the NEA reviewed the status of radioactive waste management world-wide and noted that the technology for disposal of short-lived low- and intermediate-level radioactive waste is well developed. The review concluded that all OECD countries with major nuclear programmes either operate corresponding waste disposal facilities or are in an advanced stage of developing them. By contrast, the developmental progress of HLW/SNF management programmes varies widely between countries; not to mention that there is currently no repository operating that could take spent nuclear fuel or high-level waste from reprocessing. In its collective opinion 'Moving forward with geological disposal' the NEA noted that deep underground disposal in geological formations is seen worldwide as the only sustainable endpoint for the management of these types of waste, as it affords unparalleled protection without reliance on active safety monitoring and controls. While waste management programmes in some countries are well matured and countries like Finland, France and Sweden aim to operate geologic repositories in the next decade, others need to develop their national strategies, plans and corresponding actions for managing radioactive waste further. Periodically reviewed national waste management plans, as legally required for EU member countries by a recent Directive, can provide a co-operation framework for all national institutional players and a means to measure progress. In implementing sustainable solutions for the long-term management of HLW/SNF, specific challenges lay in establishing an efficient policy and regulatory framework that (a) defines a desired level of safety over the various time scales to be considered and (b) allows for sustainable decision making procedures by involving public and stakeholder in a flexible, step-wise implementation process. Technical confidence in the safety of a repository needs to be demonstrated in a modern safety case which goes beyond demonstrating compliance with numerical safety indicators and highlights the range of underlying evidence and methods that give confidence. Regarding long-term safety regulation, the variety of approaches in national criteria and practices that reflects the different national regulatory, legal and cultural environments needs to be made transparent. Today, there is a clear understanding that the implementation of radioactive waste repositories is as much a socio-political challenge as a technical one. Public acceptance of the site needs to be secured and maintained over the lifetime of the repository and beyond. A durable relationship between a waste management facility and its host community is paramount to resolve conflicts and to deal with diverging interests that may come up during the long implementation and operational period of a geologic repository. Reversibility of decisions and retrievability of waste, under specified conditions, are typically two important requests from the local public that need to be taken into account when designing a disposal programme. While the management of short-lived, low-level waste became an industrial reality and general attention has been focusing on the management of high level waste and geologic repositories, in several countries there are still outstanding issues related to special types of radioactive waste, e.g. mixed waste and graphite, that require further consideration. As a specific case, safe and cost-effective management of waste from accident facilities, like the Fukushima plants, or from remediation of contaminated land, may pose new questions that could benefit from the international experience.