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[en] Preservation of RK and M starts in the pre-closure phase. A comprehensive waste inventory is required which needs to be maintained over significantly long time spans before RWM has reached the step of disposal. Since long term management solutions are often not clearly defined, disposal acceptance criteria are and cannot be known beforehand, at least not in early stages of disposal programs. Thus a Preservation of RK and M should therefore be approached within the rationale of life cycle analysis. There is a wide variety of approaches with regard to waste inventories at EU level, and retrieving data is often lengthy and difficult. The Commission dedicated a study to identify good practices and formulate recommendations. There are two main issues; firstly waste data collection, recording and reporting, and secondly record keeping and knowledge transfer. One concerns the present time, while the other is concerned with long periods of time. With regard to the analysis of data requirements, it was found that they depend on the context of their use, be it safe treatment, storage and disposal, policy making and capacity planning or funding. The study identifies for each use relevant data sets. Thus, the question of the purpose of RK and M preservation heavily influences the question of which records need to be maintained (cf. the RK and M Vision Document). This is also true with regard to the potential need to cope with changes of the regulatory system or overall RWM policy, which requires to preserve raw data in continuously accessible form. On the other hand the contextualization of data is needed, for which the safety case may be a useful tool. With regard to legacy waste, re-assessment or re-conditioning campaigns should aim at maximum information gain. Agreements on how to coherently account for the total volume of the waste need to be made. A balance needs to be found between completeness and overload (watch out for 'Keep everything, find nothing'). Data security is also an issue. Responsibilities have to be defined as to waste data generation and recording, updating, preservation and reporting. As good practice with regard to the question of how to preserve RK and M (cf. Vision Document), the study recommends establishing one comprehensive national database, keeping the data of all waste packages, from all waste producers and all locations. It is recommended for data collection and storage to use methods building on formalization, preferably using a standardized software tool. Databases should be used with on-line or even automated input. Searchability, accessibility, flexibility and preservation are aspects to be considered when designing the system. Data should be evaluated at regular intervals as function of time and technical developments. For the long-term preservation of data, database backup techniques should be used. This should include backup servers, regular integrity check of backup copies, long-lasting backup media, separate sets of paper copies, regular transfer of waste data into national archives as well as geographical redundancy and use of dedicated electronic archives. The feasibility of a single, comprehensive national database was questioned, given the dynamism of the software industry. With regard to reporting, lessons can be learned from the IEAE guidelines. On the other hand, substantial differences were found between reports to the EU and to the IAEA. RK and M forms an important part of the new Council Directive on the management of SF and RW, (which asks member states to set up a national framework - to set up national programs (a project planning, including post closure) - and to make an inventory). The Commission therefore intends to turn the study Commission Recommendation by the end of 2013
[en] The Preservation of Records, Knowledge and Memory Across Generations Workshop was held 11-13 October 2011 in Issy-les-Moulineaux, France, as part of the homonymous project under the aegis of the NEA Radioactive Waste Management Committee. There were 33 participants from 9 countries representing national governments, universities, waste management agencies, safety authorities, plus specialists in both the technical and social sciences. Three international organisations were also represented. The overarching goal of the workshop was to scope the field and gain insights that can guide the further development of the RK and M project. The workshop helped to further contextualize and delineate the field, to learn how different practitioners organise and conduct their work in light of different time scales and what they see as crucial issues throughout their efforts, and to investigate the interaction between RK and M and society. One the first day the key RK and M project documents and the results of questionnaires were presented and discussed. An overview of situations of records and memory loss was presented and views on regulatory implications on long-term record keeping were given. The contribution to be made by social sciences was presented. On the second day planning record preservation and knowledge management was discussed, including presentations on archaeology, markers, and a panel discussion on the film 'Into Eternity'. On the final day experience and thoughts the connection between memory and physical records were presented and discussed. In total 24 talks were delivered, each followed by time dedicated for Q and A, and 4 plenary discussions took place. This document provides a synthesis of all the workshop presentations and accounts of discussions that were held
[en] J. Day argued that the preservation of records is a necessary, but not a sufficient condition to enable intelligent future decision making and management of nuclear waste. He distinguishes knowledge management from information management. Information without the potential to act on it is information for its own sake. He believes that knowledge will be a key factor for the generations that follow us. Records need knowledge, and knowledge needs records. A single representation of knowledge can be dangerous. Knowledge is multifaceted and complex, which necessitates a holistic approach. Throughout the presentation the concepts of 'knowledge readiness' and 'knowledge mothballing' (the process of knowing, forgetting and relearning) were proposed. Based on experiences at Sellafield the actions of knowledge audit mapping (including technical, societal and historical knowledge), knowledge loss risk assessing (although we would like to we cannot hold on to everything, and should thus take a risk approach, asking ourselves what is at stake if we delete certain parts of information), and knowledge retention for the long term management of a nuclear facility were presented. During the discussion, the link between knowledge and behaviour was raised. It was argued that the better informed people are, the less likely they are to make mistakes
[en] Andra's research in the field of social sciences and humanities (SSH) takes currently place in the context of a Groupement de laboratoires devoted to the general theme 'Trans-generational transfer and long-time scales'. The research focus of the Groupement has been put on practices and specific devices related to the Cigeo project (geological disposal) with a view to the transmission of means and resources to next generations. The aim is thus to continue the trans-disciplinary work they started on reversibility, but by expanding it towards the idea of next generations 'agency'. Within the axe of 'Knowledge and Memory', a framework is currently being derived, consisting of a review of academic literature and a benchmarking study on very long term memory. This work has identified some research fronts for the social sciences and humanities. For instance, in the field of economics, art and landscape, cultural studies, institutions, archives, etc. Nevertheless, a prominent result of the study is that although a lot of work has been conducted by RWM agencies, academic interest in the topic so far remains limited. RK and M management is usually approached according to the logic of demonstration inspired by safety analysis, and makes a distinction between active and passive safety. Various dilemmas concerning the purpose, as well as the content and the supports, intended for RK and M preservation result from this demonstration approach. For example; - What is the main objective, to facilitate or to avoid access (to remember or to forget, in fine, the existence of the repository)? - What should be preserved, information or contextualized knowledge? - Which are the most reliable devices, those intended for the long term or those for the short term, the technical (passive) or the social (active) devices? An alternative 'demonstration' would consist of approaching the memory issue in term of dilemmas. And dilemmas, by definition, cannot be solved. Taking dilemmas seriously and assuming that we have to deal with an uncertain world, means to examine the whole range of possibilities, with their respective pros and cons, in depth and in a creative manner
[en] This presentation looked at ideas and suggestions for practical developments, which could be used to shape plans for records preparation to support the various phases of waste management, and to develop a common records format for the long-term. Nuclear power generation is highly regulated, technologically advanced, socially controversial. It may turn out to be a transient industry, and has inter-generational effects. Records of radioactive waste management, leading up to and including ultimate disposal, will thus be required to satisfy a wide range of requirements. It has been proposed that to maximise the potential for surviving records to be correctly interpreted, a common format should be developed and applied internationally. It is generally accepted that the nature of the required records will vary with time, generally needing less detail as time evolves and the hazard declines. This leads to the concept of 'time-expired' records, meaning that records that are 'time-expired' should be discarded, and the potential for developing records targeted at different future audiences. The use of information will most likely undergo a transition from direct to indirect oversight, and means should be adapted accordingly
[en] This presentation discussed the final repository of radioactive waste as an issue at the interface of the sciences and the humanities. Archaeologists have learned that a hundred thousand years ago abstract thought and symbolism by humans began. Since then many communities of human beings have succeeded each other. They often intended to leave a mark for eternity, but they established in fact the truism that nothing ages faster than the future. Archaeologists and historians are promoting remembering, learning and understanding of history for contemporary and future generations. Disposal sites of nuclear waste constitute a special case of heritage. We are creating a very distinctive kind of heritage that in the future may be remembered or forgotten, just like any other heritage we create. The presentation addressed what the realms of heritage and radioactive waste disposal can learn from each other regarding making provisions for the future. Rubbish reflects the conditions from which it originates. The final deposition of radioactive waste is by nature a question of historical consciousness and future uses of the past, of memory and forgetting, and of future didactics of history. Heritage studies as well as history and archaeology are thus inherently relevant. Similarities between archaeology and RWM were thus pointed out, for instance the long time frames, specific sites, dealing with the meaning of rubbish, the fact that we both like to think we are doing something good for future generations,.. But there also are differences, notably that archaeology works with precious objects one wishes to keep. How will the future use our present, which is their past, for their own future? The meaning people give to information is important, and meaning is a continuous process of reinterpreting
[en] Archives get lost, monuments are often destroyed or their meaning forgotten. A third way to retain the past is to make it part of present daily life. Prof. Van Hove talked about an organisation that takes care of handicapped children, which originated out of an old boarding school run by nuns. He was involved in a project about how to constitute an archive and give such an institution its memory back. The background of this project is the fact that such organisations are today less backed by the caring spirit, the cultural, idealistic context of before, and ever more becoming part of an average business environment. The project thus wanted to make past and present meet. In trying to do so, oral tradition was a major source of information. Such traditions developed for instance through practices such as younger nuns looking after sick, elder nuns, during which a lot of talking was done. Moreover there existed written sources of information, such as personal diaries, letters,.. By putting these different pieces together, the past was reconstructed. The speaker pointed out that every record is almost a story of itself, under the condition that the interpreter has some historical background. This memory circulation and transition is enabled by community feeling; connectedness. Prof. Van Hove thus highlighted the notion of a 'human memory'. He referred in this regard to the relationship between local communities and RWM implementers. This is not about handing out written information documents, but about 'inseminating information into the community'. Living information, for example about incidents and strange things that happened one day, can be added to promote a 'human memory' among local communities. Archives take information outside society, and hide it somewhere far away from daily life. If we want to make the past useful for the present and future, we need to take into consideration the living memory. There are various types of means to insert people with information. Referring once more to the illustration of the care taking centre, the meeting rooms at the centre are filled with living information, mixing pieces of past and present. They also organised a meeting between the nuns (the story tellers) and the young people working there now (the listeners and future story tellers). The same can be done at nuclear facilities, where elder and retired employees have a valuable role to play by interaction with younger generations of employees. At WIPP, the tour guides for instance are retired employees. In summary, in order to preserve RK and M, one needs to make it into a human story. A 'living memory' is a very important complement to record keeping systems. It was suggested that three parts of our project should be acknowledged: archives, markers or monuments, and 'heritage'
[en] There are long time frames from the production of waste to packaging, transport, storage and final disposal in a repository. This entails changing custodians, as the responsible individuals and organisations change. This presentation once again pointed out the importance of a life cycle approach towards RK and M preservation and RWM in general. The traditional focus for the safety case has been examining individual facilities and short term goals (put bluntly, on 'getting the permit'). This approach does not lend itself to forward planning, or a holistic vision of the process. The 'Radioactive waste management case' is an effort to integrate the different individual safety cases, and focus on waste streams rather than facilities, so that the trail of decisions is documented. The concept of 'waste streams' was explained as having been developed in the context of decommissioning, in order to make concrete the idea of 'cradle to grave' life cycle analysis. The importance of creating an 'information management culture' at the level of organisations was underscored. With regard to needing to find a balance between completeness and overload, it was once again pointed out that one needs to wary to avoid a situation of 'Keep everything, find nothing'
[en] There are a number of valid, safety-related, reasons for initiatives to address the need of record keeping to retain memory of a repository after closure. Such initiatives are valuable through all stages of repository development, but are indispensable in the last stages of license dialogue. Regulatory guidance for such initiatives thus is needed to allow for a measured, optimized and graded; that is, it is a proportional approach. In the absence of guidance, the operator's or implementer's work is susceptible to uncertainties regarding direction, the proper use of research resources, and so on. Inspiration may be found in national regulatory frameworks such as the ones of Finland, Japan and Germany. Nevertheless, the safety regulator alone may not possess all the necessary mandates needed for the transfer of records to a post closure archive. It is therefore advisable to formulate, at a government level, a project to establish the ultimate goal for RK and M, and the general steps that are needed. An additional issue requiring governmental action is the assessment of the RK and M initiatives' relation to international conventions, such as the Joint Convention, the Aarhus Convention and the Non- Proliferation Treaty (regarding safeguards). This presentation agreed with the fact that the local level indeed has a role to play, but highlighted that national, high level awareness is indispensable. During discussions, it was acknowledged that RK and M preservation includes a large number of elusive matters that tend to blow up debates. Even so, the need for a more or less detailed reference that delineates boundaries is needed. Presuming that the present society is a model for the future society may be the most robust way to go about it, as this avoids the temptation to indulge in science fiction. This is also relevant when thinking about reconstruction measures to account for the fact the chain of information may be broken at some stage. The relevance of the international level and the importance of finding a balance between raw data and metadata was underlined. It was pointed out that the issue of how the dimension of openness relates to safeguards deserves further attention
[en] For geological disposal sites, the time scales over which the hazard exists are enormous. It must be accepted that the current generation's capacity to assure continued integrity cannot be projected indefinitely into the future, but rather diminishes with time. At the same time there is a common understanding that we should neither 'walk away' from these facilities nor to hide them, even when we think they will be safe. In fact, the sense of safety will be coming from continuing, over time, some element of familiarity and control. Hence the need to conceptualise a 'rolling future' in which each generation takes responsibility to provide continuity and safety for the succeeding several generations, including a need for flexibility and adaptability to circumstances as they change. The idea of archives and markers that last as long as possible (the technological approach) continues to be central. However, we are beginning to understand today that physical markers and archives may need to be complemented by - or integrated within - a cultural tradition that could be sustained over time starting with the planning of a repository and continuing through its implementation and beyond its closure. The mandated need to install 'permanent' records and markers can only be fulfilled if one aims to make them become part of the local, subsequent cultures, and ideally be renewed as their materials are degraded, or as their significance evolves. Because a radioactive waste repository and site will be a permanent presence in a host community for a very long time, a fruitful, positive relationship must be established with those residing there, now and in the future. Simply put, designers have to make the facility and site to suit people's present needs, ambitions and likings, and provide for evolutions to match, at reasonable cost, the needs and desires of future generations. The challenge is to design and implement a facility (with its surroundings) that is not only accepted, but in fact becomes a part of the fabric of local life and even something of which the community can be proud. Parts of the facility and its surroundings may thus become themselves cherished markers of the existence of an underground waste repository. With regard to the suggestion to turn a surface facility connected to a geological disposal into a marker during the discussion the point was made that it would still be a long way from the waste itself, and only cover a very small part of the total surface of the underground disposal. On the other hand, the importance of this was questioned, since the danger presented by the waste a few square kilometres underground is also rather diffuse, and not restricted to the dimension of the underground facility. It was mentioned that in the USA a visitor's centre and museum were being examined, but financial constraints restrict this approach. The use of the word 'oversight' was questioned, as it has two possible contrary meanings. It was suggested that another word was found which would convey the meaning less ambiguously. There was some clarification of the difference between the terms 'control' and 'oversight'. A 'control' can function without a person to operate it, whilst 'oversight' requires human presence. It was pointed out that whilst most would like believe that future generations will be more intelligent and sophisticated, this is not guaranteed. It was argued that in order to develop a supportive local community, there needs to be acceptance of the whole process within that community from the beginning. The process of engaging with the community so they feel a level of responsibility for the preservation of the memory of the facility must begin with the siting process, and include the technical decision making