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)
14 - 18 October 2002
ANNOUNCEMENT AND CALL FOR PAPERS
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
- 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.
- SCOPE OF THE CONFERENCE
The following main topics will be covered:
- National and international policies and criteria for
the safe decommissioning and environmental remediation of practices
- Review of safety lessons learned from ongoing or
completed activities associated with the safe termination of nuclear
- Improvement of safety through the use of new and
- 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
- Experience from radiological assessments associated with practice
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 AND EXHIBITS
Scientific visits to facilities currently terminating their practices
will be offered. Related exhibits will be displayed during the conference.
- CONTRIBUTED PAPERS AND POSTERS
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].
- DISTRIBUTION OF DOCUMENTS/PROCEEDINGS
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.
- are submitted by 31 May 2002;
- are accompanied by a duly completed and signed Grant
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.
- WORKING LANGUAGE
The working language of the conference will be English. All communications,
including abstracts and contributed papers, must be sent to the IAEA
Detailed information on accommodation and other administrative arrangements
will be sent to participants well in advance of the meeting.
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
- CONFERENCE ORGANIZATION
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]).
- CHANNELS OF COMMUNICATION
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.
- CONFERENCE WEB PAGE
The conference web page is: http://www.iaea.org/worldatom/Meetings/.