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INTERNATIONAL ATOMIC ENERGY AGENCY

in co-operation with the

European Commission (EC) and the
Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA)

International Conference on Issues and Trends in Radioactive Waste
Management

Vienna, Austria
9 - 13 December 2002

Information on Logistics
Programme
Hotels
Hotel Reservation Form
Visa Information

ANNOUNCEMENT AND CALL FOR PAPERS

Summary by Conference President


    1. BACKGROUND

    Radioactive waste is an inevitable residue from the use of radioactive materials in industry, research and medicine and from the use of nuclear power to generate electricity. The management and disposal of such waste is therefore an issue relevant to almost all countries. The strategies and techniques for the safe management of the various types of waste arising from the different applications are well established and extensive experience has been obtained in most areas. However, there are a number of issues and problems which still need to be resolved. Some of these are considered in the following paragraphs.

    Some technical issues, related to the underground disposal of waste, still remain to be resolved, for example, related to determining the safety implications of providing for the retrieval of waste from repositories, making the case for safety in the long-term future and, providing for the long-term monitoring and surveillance of waste repositories and for the retention of knowledge concerning their existence.

    In some countries surface storage of radioactive waste is being seen as a long-term management strategy mainly because of the delays and difficulties in establishing underground repositories. At the same time questions are being raised concerning the safety and sustainability of such an approach.

    The long-lived nature of some types of radioactive waste and the associated safety implications of disposal plans have raised concern amongst those who may be affected by such facilities. For these reasons the subject of radioactive waste management has taken on a high profile in many countries. Over the years many lessons have been learned and, nowadays, a recognized important common feature in all programmes is the involvement of concerned parties or “stakeholders” in the process of decision making with respect to repository siting and development.

    Small amounts of radioactive waste exist in almost all countries and while management solutions are readily available for most of the waste types, the management of some types of small volume highly active and long lived waste, for example disused sealed sources and research reactor fuel, can present a problem, especially for smaller countries with limited resources. It is an area in which there are several on-going international initiatives aimed at finding economic and safe management solutions.

    Policies on the discharge of low-level gaseous and liquid radioactive effluents are coming under review in some parts of the world and there are moves to reduce discharges ever closer to zero. In this context, the OSPAR Convention is bringing about changes to the effluent discharge policies of many European countries. It remains to be seen whether these trends will be followed in other parts of the world.

    Radioactive waste residues from a past era still remain to be rendered safe. Examples are the residues from previous activities concerned with the mining and milling of uranium and thorium and the processing and use of radium which still exist often in an untreated state. There are problems concerned with finding technically appropriate means of disposal which would be at the same time economic and safe in the long term. Another related issue concerns the need to bring certain older storage and disposal systems which were designed and operated to earlier standards up to the standards of today.

    Many of these concerns will be addressed, at least in part, by the international safety regime which has gradually come into being comprising a specific international legal instrument addressing the international safety of radioactive waste (the Joint Convention), internationally endorsed safety standards (the RADWASS standards) and programmes of review, advice and assistance facilitated by the IAEA.

    2. OBJECTIVE

    The objective of the Conference is to foster information exchange on current issues in the area of radioactive waste management and to promote international coherence on strategies and criteria for their resolution.

    3. SCOPE OF THE CONFERENCE

    The following main topics will be addressed:

    • progress on implementing the geological disposal of radioactive waste - what remains to be done and what are the remaining issues?
    • long term radioactive waste storage - a sustainable solution? - current national and international policies;
    • decision making in radioactive waste management - involvement of stakeholders;
    • the management of small amounts of “problem” waste, including disused sealed sources and spent research reactor fuel - current issues and solutions;
    • policies on the discharge of low level effluents - status and trends;
    • retention of knowledge concerning radioactive waste disposal - what mechanisms can be put in place?
    • the management of radioactive waste from past eras, older storage and disposal systems - the situation and the solutions;
    • the Joint Convention on the Safety of Spent Fuel Management and on the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management - what can be achieved through this mechanism?
    • standards and regulations for radioactive waste management - where is consensus lacking?

    4. AUDIENCE

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

    5. PROGRAMME STRUCTURE

    The Conference programme will be based on the following approach:

    • An opening session will set the Conference objectives and provide background information on the issues and trends in the management of radioactive waste.
    • A sequence of topical sessions will examine the relevant issues. The major issues in each session will be introduced by senior experts. Ample time for discussion will be provided. Panel sessions will provide an opportunity for a more intensive exchange of views on important safety issues with the audience. Appointed chairpersons will draw conclusions from the presentations and discussions.
    • Poster sessions will be organized for presentation of contributed papers.
    • A closing session will summarize the principal observations made during the Conference.

    6. PARTICIPATION

    Anyone wishing to participate in the Conference must send a completed Participation Form (Form A) (attached) to the appropriate government authority 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 (see Section 9). Further details on the logistics of the conference will be sent well in advance to all participants whose official designation has been received.

    7. CONTRIBUTED PAPERS AND POSTERS

    Contributions to the Conference, in the form of concise papers not exceeding four pages in length, are welcome. These papers will not be presented orally but will be printed in the book of contributed papers, which will be distributed to all participants upon registration at the Conference. Contributed papers must be submitted in English and each contributed paper must be preceded by an abstract, not exceeding 300 words. Authors of contributed papers are also encouraged to present the substance of their paper in the form of a Poster. Guidelines for the Preparation of a Contributed Paper are given in the attached “IAEA Guidelines for Authors on the Preparation of Manuscripts for Proceedings” and the “IAEA Guidelines for the Preparation of a Poster”.

    The contributed papers must be submitted through one of the official channels (see Section 9) together with the completed Participation Form and the Form for Submission of a paper (Form B). Authors should state to which technical session topic their contribution relates (see Section 3). In addition to the official submission, an electronic version of the contributed paper, in Word, is required and must be sent by e-mail to papers.waste02@iaea.org or sent on diskette to the Scientific Secretariat (see Section 14). The diskette label should identify the paper, the topic and the application used. To permit selection and review, these items must be received at the Scientific Secretariat not later than

    2 May 2002

    Papers which have been received from the official channels together with the Paper submission Form B will be selected for inclusion in the Book of Contributed Papers after a review process. The Secretariat reserves the right to exclude papers that do not comply with its quality standards. Papers which are not sent through the official channels and papers arriving after the deadline will not be considered.

    Authors will be informed by 1 July 2002 whether their papers have been accepted for inclusion in the book of contributed papers and, as appropriate, for presentation as a poster.

    8. EXPENDITURES

    The costs for the organization of the Conference are borne by the IAEA.
    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 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 (attached) – typewritten or clearly printed through your appropriate government authority (see Section 9) together with the Participation Form (Form A), and if relevant, the Paper Submission Form (Form B) to reach the IAEA at the latest by 2 May 2002. Incomplete or late applications will not be considered. The grants will be lump sums usually covering only part of the cost of attendance.

    9. CHANNELS OF COMMUNICATION

    The Participation Form A, the Paper Submission Form B and, if applicable, the Grant Application Form C must be sent through a participants’ competent official authority (Ministry of Foreign Affairs or national atomic energy authority) for subsequent transmission to the IAEA.

    10. DISTRIBUTION OF DOCUMENTS AND PROCEEDINGS

    A preliminary programme of the Conference will be sent by airmail to all participants before the meeting and will also be available on the Conference webpage (see Section 15).

    The final programme and the book of contributed papers will be available upon registration at the Conference.

    The proceedings of the meeting will be published by the IAEA as soon as possible after the meeting.

    11. WORKING LANGUAGE

    The working language of the Conference will be English. All communications, synopses, abstracts and papers must be sent to the Agency in English.

    12. ACCOMMODATION

    Detailed information on accommodation and other administrative details will be sent to all officially designated participants by airmail well in advance of the meeting and will also be available on the webpage of the Conference.

    13. VISA

    Designated participants who require a visa to enter Austria should submit the necessary application to the nearest diplomatic or consular representative of Austria as soon as possible. Please note that Austria is a Schengen State and therefore persons who require a visa will have to apply for a “Schengen visa” at least 21 days before entry into Austria. In States where Austria has no diplomatic mission visas can be obtained from the consular authority of a Schengen Partner State representing Austria in the country in question. [At present the Schengen States are: Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Luxemburg, Netherlands, Portugal and Spain.].

    14. CONTACT INFORMATION

    The following persons may be contacted for further information or assistance:

    (a) Scientific issues – Scientific Secretariat

    Mr. M. Bell
    Waste Technology Section, NEFW
    International Atomic Energy Agency
    P.O. Box 100
    Wagramer Strasse 5
    A-1400 Vienna, Austria
    Telephone No.: (+43)1-2600-22662
    Telefax No.: (+43) 1-26007
    E-mail: M.Bell@iaea.org

    Mr. G. Linsley
    Waste Safety Section, NSRW
    International Atomic Energy Agency
    P.O. Box 100
    Wagramer Strasse 5
    A-1400 Vienna, Austria
    Telephone No.: (+43) 1-2600-22666
    Telefax No.: (+43) 1-26007
    E-mail: G.Linsley@iaea.org

    (b) Administrative issues – Conference Organizer

    Ms. E. Janisch
    Conference Service Section, MTCD
    International Atomic Energy Agency
    IAEA-CN-90
    P.O. Box 100
    Wagramer Strasse 5
    A-1400 Vienna, Austria
    Telephone No.: (+43) 1-2600-21312 (or –21311)
    Telefax No.: (+43) 1-26007
    E-mail: E.Janisch@iaea.org
    (General mail for IAEA: official.mail@iaea.org)

    15. CONFERENCE WEBPAGE

    Please visit the IAEA conference webpage regularly for any new and/or updated information regarding this Conference under: http://www.iaea.org/worldatom/Meetings/2002


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