"The 11th meeting of the Contact Expert Group (CEG) for international radwaste projects in the Russian Federation*) took place on October 25-27, 2000 in Cherbourg, France. The meeting was attended by 68 participants from 12 countries, 6 international organizations.
The meeting considered four major topical issues, namely:
1. Most urgent RF projects requiring international support.
2. Strategy for Radwaste and Spent Fuel Management in the RF.
3. Role, the mandate and the working methods of the CEG. Its Strategy, activities, achievements, and future.
4. The CEG organizational and financial matters.
In addition the following presentations have been made and received with interest:
1. Overview of implementation of Russian Federal Programmes on radwastes and spent nuclear fuel management by Mr. Victor Kovalenko
2. Plans on co-operative UK-RF projects on spent nuclear submarine fuel handling in North West Russia by Mr. Paul Pennel-Buck
3. Presentation of current status and future plans for Japan-RF co-operative projects by Ms. Kyoko Tomoda
4. Plans on cooperation between RF and IG (Industrial Group) on spent nuclear submarine fuel handling in NW Russia by Mr. Bo Gustafsson
5. Improvement of the Safety of the Management of Radioactive Waste in the North West Region of Russia - Disposal of Radioactive Waste - Project TACIS NUCRUS 95 410 by Mr. Bernard Come
6. Presentation of ISTC Partner Program and status of ISTC Radwaste projects by Mr. Uwe Meyer
7. Information on the Meeting on the Karachay Lake Issues: Plans and Perspectives of future activities in this area by Mr. Lucien Cecille
8. New US Law, PL 106-255, 106th Congress, "Cross-Border Cooperation and Environmental Safety in Northern Europe Act of 2000" by Ms. Tanya Shamson
(In the later discussion Mr. Randal Scott invited all the CEG members to provide comments on a prospective report which the Law requires under Section 5)
Most urgent RF projects requiring international support
Russian representative presented a paper with a list of projects requiring urgent implementation and international support. This list consists of 12 projects falling within the four high priority tasks in Russia:
1. Decommissioning Complex for utilisation of Nuclear Submarines (strategic and general purpose)
2. Decommissioning Complex for utilisation of service ships (Lepse, 326 and 326M projects)
3. Decommissioning of nuclear facilities and rehabilitation of the ex-navy base territories.
4. Creation of the infrastructure for future radwaste and SNF management system in the North-West region.
It was noted that two Governmental enterprises recently were established in Russia under the Minatom for resolution of the complex SNF and radwaste problems in the North-West and the Far East regions.
The CEG highly appreciated the presentation and noted that future international assistance should focus on the most urgent issues related to management of spent nuclear fuel.
Strategy for Radwaste and Spent Fuel Management in the RF:
Finalisation of the SWG R3&R4 reports
Member of the Strategy Working Group (SWG) presented the changes introduced into two reports by the Group (Report R3 - "Additional working papers prepared for the WG Chairman" and Report R4 - "Agreed summary of work to date") after the last CEG meeting. The SWG member pointed out that the changes reflect mainly comments of the RF party received and discussed at the last CEG meeting, and other changes have minor effect on major contents and findings of the documents. General endorsement of the documents were obtained. Final versions of the documents were published on the EC DG environment website and included into Volume II "Working materials of the 10th CEG Meeting".
The CEG agreed that R3 and R4 documents prepared by the SWG are fully endorsed as the CEG documents.
Development of task descriptions in the SWG recommended three priority Programme Areas
Member of the Strategy Working Group (SWG) presented draft of the SWG R5 document "Working Paper on the Management of Spent Nuclear Fuel in Submarines that have been Withdrawn from Active Service" prepared by Mark Dutton, Mark Gerchikov, NNC, Christopher Watson, AEA Technology and Jurgen Krone, DBE. The document contains details of the strategy in RW and SNF management at different locations including identification of existing and planned facilities. It defines as a first priority decommissioning of the first generation general purpose submarines. Possible options of the resolution of this issue were given.
Further working papers - R6: Research reactors, RADONs and Uranium Facilities
Member of the Strategy Working Group (SWG) presented draft of the SWG R6 document "Further working papers - R6 (Research reactors, RADONs and Uranium Facilities)" prepared for the WG Chairman by Christopher Watson, Tony Bishop, Dave Wells AEA Technology and Mark Dutton, Mark Gerchikov NNC. This document contains useful information on the status and main problems experienced by the facilities in question as well as rough estimates on the financial assistance required to resolve the problems. However this does not change the main objectives of the CEG activities which are identified in the R4 document.
During further discussion of the R5&R6 documents the CEG noted that the materials contain useful information additional to R3&R4 documents. The CEG believes that in future the most effective way for the CEG documents preparation, review and approval could be provided when both Russian and Western experts work together under the development of the documents. It would be helpful if the final documents are produced in two languages: English and Russian in spite of the fact which side leads the documents production. Same is to be applied for the presentations at the CEG meetings in future. CEG decided that R5&R6 documents should have status of the working materials and could be used by the CEG parties on their discretion. However all parties are welcomed to provide their comments on R5&R6 documents within one month to the SWG Chairman and the authors are asked to modify the documents accordingly as soon as possible and submit to the CEG Secretariat.
The CEG reminded that the main objective of the SWG work is to produce the documents which could help Russian Federation to be funded by donors, and thus to facilitate resolution of the urgent environmental problems.
Plans for future SWG activities
The SWG Chairman presented his proposals regarding future SWG activities. General discussion took place on this subject.
The CEG discussed future SWG activities and decided that at the moment SWG has to concentrate its activities on updating the R5&R6 documents introducing necessary changes together with Russian experts in a way given above. The CEG recognized that SWG in general successfully reached the main target established by the CEG and prepared a series of the documents on the Strategy for Radwaste and Spent Fuel Management in the RF. Experts involved in the SWG gained a lot of knowledge and expertise during the SWG work and their experience would be very useful for future CEG activities. The CEG thanked the SWG Chairman and the SWG experts for their fruitful work.
Executive Summary on RF strategy on management of radwaste and SNF
SWG member presented the draft of the Executive Summary prepared on the basis of the R4 report. Unfortunately this document was not available for the CEG members in advance prior to the meeting which left no opportunities for the CEG members to review and comment the document.
The CEG agreed that Mr. Engelman within one week has to submit the draft of the Executive Summary to the CEG Executive Secretary who will continue finalisation of the document in communication with the CEG parties.
Role, the mandate and the working methods of the CEG. Its Strategy, activities, achievements, and future.
The US representative Mr. Randal Scott presented a draft of the document titled "The CEG Strategy: Its Activities, Achievements, and Future". This document contains an overview of the CEG history, main activities and achievements. Regarding future activities of the CEG it proposes that new work should focus on the identification of specific projects within the RF which will: (1) reduce the environmental risk posed by the present condition of RF SNF and radwaste, (2) improve the management infrastructure within the RF for stabilization of SNF and radwaste, and (3) promote national policies and interests of both the RF and donor nations with respect to management of RF SNF and radwaste. To move forward to this next level, the proposal contemplates the formation of several work groups which could focus on specific projects, so called " Project-Focused Workshops" (PFWs). It was proposed that such PFW is expected to focus on specific project of High Priority.
The CEG appreciated the presented material and discussed the proposals made. It was agreed that the CEG members are welcomed to submit their comments to the US side and to the CEG Secretariat for further modification of the document by the US side which eventually could be endorsed by the CEG.
During the discussion of the CEG role, mandate and working methods it was proposed to organize an ad-hoc group of few CEG members including the CEG Chairman and a newly elected CEG Chairman. A proposals for the mandate for the group will be drafted by the newly elected Chairman. Besides it would be useful to invite IAEA to send its representative to the next CEG meeting to discuss CEG activities and its cooperation with the IAEA.
The CEG's organizational and financial matters
- acknowledged with appreciation that the Netherlands officially joined the CEG in July, 2000 as its full member and expressed its expectation that the Netherlands will contribute soon to the operation of the CEG Secretariat;
- acknowledged with satisfaction the participation of Japan and Canada representatives at the meeting and expressed its expectation that Japan officially join the CEG as its full member and Canada will identify its status of future participation in the CEG activities;
- noted with appreciation the Preliminary Financial Report of the CEG Secretariat for 2000 and approved it; Contributions from the CEG Countries are expected as usually at the beginning of the next year;
- acknowledged with interest presentation of the Project Cost Analysis by the Executive Secretary and agreed that the CEG Secretariat should continue support of the CEG database and provide information to the CEG members on their requests;
- accepted kind invitation of the Russian Federation to held the 12th CEG meeting on 14-16 May 2001 in St.Petersburg, Russia;
- acknowledge proposals to held 13th CEG meeting on October 2001 in Brussels, Belgium or in Stockholm, Sweden (the exact date is to be decided at the next meeting);
- acknowledged proposal of the IIASA and the Executive Secretary to held the 14th CEG meeting at IAEA headquarters in Vienna, Austria in April 2002 in collaboration with IIASA.
- elected Mr. Tornbjorn Norendal as a new CEG Chairman from January 1, 2001 and thanked Mr. Charles Newstead for his highly appreciated outstanding contribution to the CEG operation during last three years.
- thanked Mr. Engelman who will retire at the end of the year for his contribution to the CEG activities during all time of the CEG work.