Safe Decommissioning for Nuclear Activities:
Assuring the Safe Termination of Practices
Involving Radioactive Materials

Hosted by the Government of Germany,
Bundesamt für Strahlenschutz

(German Conference Website)

Berlin, Germany
14 - 18 October 2002

Provisional Programme
Poster Guidelines



    Thousands of operations involving the use of radioactive substances will be ended during the current century. The termination of these activities, called 'practices' in radiation safety terminology, will require the safe shutdown of the installations where the practices have been performed, such as nuclear power plants, research reactors, mining and milling facilities, uranium enrichment and fuel reprocessing plants, and radioisotope laboratories. These installations will then need to be decommissioned, a term used to mean that the installations will have to be safely dismantled and their parts containing residues of radioactive substances safely disposed of. Finally, the sites will have to be restored so that they can be released as habitable environments.

    The methodology for the safe termination of practices is being developed. The IAEA has identified three strategies that can be used for any decommissioning project: Immediate Dismantling, Safe Enclosure and Entombment. While there is a wide regulatory experience in the 'front end' of the regulatory system for practices, the experience in the back end is more limited as fewer practices have actually been terminated. The introduction of practices is regulated in order to provide appropriate protection for workers, the public and the environment. Practices are usually conducted in facilities that may range from large complex structures such as nuclear power plants and chemical reprocessing plants to small laboratories or workshops. During the life of many of these facilities, equipment, components and structures may become radioactive through neutron activation or be contaminated by being in contact with radioactive processes or material.

    When a practice is terminated because the facility has reached the end of its useful life, action has to be taken to allow the removal of regulatory controls. There are many issues involved in the safe termination of practices. These include setting criteria for the release of material and sites from regulatory control; determining the suitability of the various options for decommissioning nuclear facilities, managing the waste and material released from control (recycling, reuse or disposal), and the eventual remediation of the site. Some countries have put in place regulatory infrastructures and have developed programmes to manage the associated decommissioning and remediation activities. Other countries are at the stage of assessing what is involved in terminating such practices.

    Therefore, the time seems to be ripe for an extensive information exchange among decision makers, regulators, radiation and waste safety specialists, and the nuclear industry on the challenges and opportunities ahead, taking account of the major tasks being faced in the near future. This is the main reason for the IAEA to convene an International Conference on Safe Decommissioning for Nuclear Activities: Assuring the Safe Termination of Practices Involving Radioactive Materials. One of the purposes of this conference is to foster information exchange between the countries that have gained experience in regulating and managing decommissioning and remediation projects, and those countries that are just starting to implement their programmes. Another aim is to make progress towards harmonizing national policies and criteria for the decommissioning of nuclear facilities and for the release of material from regulatory control.

    Major issues that have been identified during the planning and implementation of past and ongoing termination projects that will be discussed during this conference include:

    • Strategies for safe termination - immediate dismantling or safe storage? What are the safety implications of these options?

    • Availability of waste disposal facilities - what are the safety issues if facilities are dismantled without final disposal arrangements being in place?

    • Management of decommissioning wastes - how should these wastes be managed safely?

    • Adequacy of current technology - can practices be terminated safely for all types of the nuclear facility?

    • Release of materials from regulatory control - what policies and criteria are being used and what is the current international guidance?

    • Remediation of sites - what is the current experience from a safety point of view?

    • Inherited problems - how can countries that have inherited nuclear facilities safely manage their decommissioning and the remediation of affected sites?

    • Social impact of practice termination - how does the termination of a practice affect the local population?

    An earlier international workshop co-sponsored by the IAEA/NEA/European Commission, hosted by ANPA and held in Rome, Italy, in May 1999, focused on the regulatory aspects of decommissioning. The present conference may be seen as following on from that workshop by addressing the subject from a broader perspective.


    The objective of the conference is to foster information exchange on the safe and orderly termination of practices that involve the use of radioactive substances, including both decommissioning and environmental restoration, and to promote improved coherence internationally on strategies and criteria for the safe termination of practices.


    The following main topics will be covered:

    • National and international policies and criteria for the safe decommissioning and environmental remediation of practices and sites;

    • Review of safety lessons learned from ongoing or completed activities associated with the safe termination of nuclear activities;

    • Improvement of safety through the use of new and innovative technologies;

    • Management and optimization of occupational radiation protection during decommissioning and restoration operations;

    • Safe management of material, waste and sites resulting from the termination of practices, including the management of waste in the absence of repositories and waste acceptance requirements;

    • Procedures for demonstrating compliance with safety criteria for practice termination;

    • Experience from radiological assessments associated with practice termination.



    Those attending the conference are expected to include government officials: senior policy makers at the ministerial level; persons from regulatory bodies and their technical experts; and persons responsible for the operation and decommissioning of facilities and their experts. The conference is directed at a broad spectrum of professional disciplines, including health physics, environmental engineering, radiation protection, radioactive waste management and radiological assessment.


    The conference programme will be based on the following approach:

    • An opening session will set the conference objectives and provide background information on the status and trends in the decommissioning of facilities and restoration of sites.

    • 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. A number of controversial issues will be addressed in round table discussions. 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.



    Scientific visits to facilities currently terminating their practices will be offered. Related exhibits will be displayed during the conference.


    Papers on subjects falling within the scope of the conference may be submitted as contributions to the conference. These papers will not normally be presented orally but will be issued in a book of contributed papers, which will be published in advance of the conference and distributed to all participants upon registration. Authors of contributed papers are encouraged to present the substance of the paper in the form of a poster. Comments or questions on contributed papers can be raised at the appropriate topical session.

    Deadline for Submission of Abstracts

    Abstracts of contributed papers and posters are required to reach the IAEA by 1 March 2002. A completed Form for Submission of a Paper, together with the Participation Form must be included with the submission of the abstract. The abstract should not exceed 300 words. The abstract must be in English and give sufficient information on the contents of the proposed paper to enable the Programme Committee to evaluate it. Introductory and general matters should not be included. Abstracts may be sent directly by e-mail to [email protected].

    Authors will be informed whether their papers have been accepted for inclusion in the book of contributed papers and, as appropriate, for presentation as a poster. The IAEA, however, reserves the right to refuse the presentation or publication of any paper that does not meet the expectations based on the information given in the abstract.

    Deadline for Contributed Papers

    Contributed papers that have been accepted by the Programme Committee are required to reach the IAEA by 1 May 2002. Guidelines for the preparation and submission of contributed papers and posters will be sent upon their acceptance. The template to be used for the preparation of the manuscript will also be provided. Contributed papers may be sent directly by e-mail to [email protected].


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

    A preliminary programme of the conference will be sent to the participants before the meeting. The final programme and the book of contributed papers will be distributed on registration at the conference site.


    All persons wishing to participate in the meeting are requested to complete a Participation Form and send it as soon as possible to the competent official authority (Ministry of Foreign Affairs or national atomic energy authority) for subsequent transmission to the IAEA. A participant will be accepted only if the Participation Form is transmitted through the government of a Member State of the IAEA or by an organization invited to participate.

    Participants whose designations have been received by the IAEA will be notified directly before the meeting.


    As a general rule, the IAEA does not pay the cost of attendance, i.e. travel and living expenses, of participants. 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 grant will be awarded to any one country.

    If governments wish to apply for a grant on behalf of one of their specialists, they should address specific requests to the IAEA to this effect. Governments should ensure that applications for grants.

    1. are submitted by 31 May 2002;
    2. are accompanied by a duly completed and signed Grant Application Form.

    Applications that do not comply with the conditions mentioned under (a) and (b) cannot be considered.

    The grants awarded will be in the form of lump sums usually covering only part of the cost of attendance.

    The costs for the organization of the meeting are borne by the IAEA and the Host Government.

    No registration fee will be charged to participants.


    The working language of the conference will be English. All communications, including abstracts and contributed papers, must be sent to the IAEA in English.


    Detailed information on accommodation and other administrative arrangements will be sent to participants well in advance of the meeting.

  13. VISA

    Participants who require a visa to enter Germany should submit the necessary application to the nearest consular representative of Germany as soon as possible. Please note that Germany is a Schengen State and therefore persons who require a visa will have to apply for a "Schengen visa" at least 14 days before entry into Germany at a competent mission


    The conference is being organized by the IAEA and hosted by the Government of Germany through the Bundesamt für Strahlenschutz (BfS - Federal Office for Radiation Protection).

    The Conference Secretariat is supported by a Programme Committee and an Organizing Committee. .


    The address of the Conference Secretariat is:

    International Atomic Energy Agency
    Vienna International Centre
    Wagramer Strasse 5
    P.O. Box 100
    A-1400 Vienna, Austria

    Telephone No.: (+43-1) 2600 (0) plus extension
    Telefax No.: (+43-1) 26007
    Electronic mail: [email protected]

    The Scientific Secretary of the Conference is Mr. Dennis Reisenweaver, IAEA, Division of Radiation and Waste Safety, (telephone ext. 22852, e-mail: [email protected] ). Conference organization is provided by Ms. Cynthia Coolbaugh, IAEA, Conference Service Section, Division of Conference and Document Services (telephone extension ext. 21310, e-mail: [email protected]).


    The Participation Form Form, the Form for Submission of a Paper, together with the abstract and, if applicable, the Grant Application Form, should be sent to the competent official authority (Ministry of Foreign Affairs or national atomic energy authority) for transmission to the IAEA.

    Subsequent correspondence on scientific matters should be sent to the Scientific Secretary and correspondence on administrative matters to the IAEA Conference Service Section.


    The conference web page is:

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