Contact Expert Group

Chairman's Summing Up of the Second CEG Meeting's Major Decisions and Recommendations

(Vienna, 10 - 11 September 1996)

[View the Agenda]


The 2nd CEG meeting took place in Vienna 10-11 September 1996 and was attended by 29 participants from 10 countries, 4 international organizations and the EU.

Three more countries (France, USA and UK), EU and one international organization (IIASA) have formally joined the CEG between the 1st and the 2nd sessions and the total number of full CEG Members has reached eleven. Nine of them were represented by the CEG members appointed by their Governments and two of them by alternate members. Some of them were accompanied by experts and observers.

The NEFCO and ISTC have joined the CEG as observers. The ISTC was represented by two observers, the NEFCO did not participate. A representative of the Republic of Korea attended the meeting as observer. Japan was not represented at the meeting and has not yet decided on its participation in the CEG. It has however submitted its contribution into the Co-operation Projects Data Base.

Agenda item 1 : Election of the CEG Chairman for the first term

The CEG considered the chairmanship for the first term of the CEG (until the end of 1997) and unanimously elected Mr. Snihs as Chairman of the CEG.

Agenda item 2 : Adoption of the Agenda

The 3rd draft Agenda of the meeting was approved.

Agenda item 3 : The CEG Executive Secretary’s Report on the CEG Secretariat activities (April - August 1996)

The CEG Executive Secretary (CEG ES) presented his Report on the CEG Secretariat activities (April - August 1996). The CEG expressed its gratitude to the IAEA Director General for prompt realization of the CEG request to establish the CEG S at the IAEA and appointment of its ES.

The CEG noted with appreciation the results of the CEG Secretariat activities over the first five months of its operation.

Agenda item 3a : NEFCO/AMAP suggestion for establishment of an Ad Hoc Expert Review Team (AERT)

The CEG discussed the suggestion by NEFCO/AMAP for the establishment of an Ad Hoc Expert Review Team (AERT) under the auspices of the CEG to consider and harmonize some discrepancies in the technical and financial data on the projects under consideration of NEFCO/AMAP and Russia.

The CEG did not support the establishment of a special Ad Hoc Review Team under umbrella of the CEG and suggested that this task could be solved through "regular" (envisaged in the TOR) peer review or similar mechanism, if required.

Agenda item 4 : CEG Executive Secretary’s report on the establishment of the Data Base

The CEG ES reported on the establishment of the CEG Co-operation Projects Data Base (CEG CP DB).

The DB includes at present 100 co-operation projects covering 16 different waste management topics.

The Project Description Forms (PDFs) originally filled in by the CEG ES were either confirmed, corrected, filled in more fully or replaced by the new ones (58%), however, some PDFs do not contain the required detailed information and still have to be finalized. The remaining 42% of PDFs (from 2 countries and 2 international organizations) are not completed yet. The CEG appeals to them to do this as soon as possible.

The full set of all 100 PDFs has been distributed to all CEG members and countries/ organizations that contributed to the joint DB by submitting filled in PDFs. The list of co-operation projects in the DB was distributed to all participants.

The CEG approved the modified PDF presented for its consideration by the ES with several changes, having in mind, that they are always open to further adjustments and agreed that the ES can edit the presented PDFs if required.

The CEG noted the importance of the DB as a useful instrument for the Group and its members for analysis and decision taking process in achieving the CEG goals and objectives.

In the course of discussion on the scope of information to be included into the DB, a suggestion was made by the Russian member to add into the DB detailed technical, radiological and geographical information on the facilities and their sites, relevant to cooperation projects. After discussion the CEG supported the establishment of an interlinked but separate DB containing this information. The Secretariat was requested to prepare proposals together with RF specialists and to present them to the next CEG meeting. This decision was also reflected in the CEG Plan of Action considered and approved under Agenda item 9.

Agenda item 5 : Updates on the progress in implementation or negotiation of cooperation projects

The CEG members and observers presented updates on the progress since the 1st CEG meeting (March 1996) in implementation or negotiations of co-operation projects. The CEG noted with satisfaction the progress achieved. The information presented will be included into the 2nd CEG meeting proceedings.

The CEG discussed desirability of regular collecting and circulating progress-reports on the implementation (negotiations) of the co-operation projects. It asked the ES to prepare and circulate his proposal on how to realize this suggestion.

Agenda item 6 : Classification of cooperation projects by categories

The CEG ES presented summary results of his analysis of the co-operation projects in the DB by their:

- present status (72% - active, 20% - planned, 6% completed, 2% - suggested)

- major topics (50% of projects cover 4 of 16 co-operation topics)

- relationship to Russian priorities (50% of Russian high priority projects are not yet supported by co-operation)

The CEG discussed the data presented and noted their importance for better understanding of the co-operation efforts and in making, if required, some recommendations for corrective measures.

Agenda item 7 : Assigning of CEG recommended priorities for the revised and prioritized list of Russian High Priority Projects

On the basis of information presented under Agenda item 6 and information on the Major Data on Russian High Priority Projects, the CEG discussed the prioritized List of High Priority Projects prepared by Russia. It was recognized that the list reflects a necessary compromise between priorities of different Russian ministries involved in solving the complex of waste management problems.

Presenting the List the Russian Member of the CEG stated that the North-West region of Russia has been producing large amounts of radioactive waste and spent fuel. At present, this waste and a large part of the spent fuels are in temporary storage lacking modern safety structures. If urgent measures to improve safety are not taken soon, the fast increasing amounts could become a serious danger to the population of the region and neighboring countries. He underlined that the List reflects the basic approach of giving highest priority to solution of urgent problem of radiation protection safety, associated with the waste management facilities and activities at this stage in the North-West Region.

The major emphasis is given to the solution of the whole complex of problems resulting from massive decommissioning of nuclear submarines, such as

  • spent fuel removal, transportation, interim storage;

  • treatment, conditioning and disposal of radioactive wastes generated from the Northern Fleet activities;

  • monitoring of radioactive situation associated with the above activities.

The CEG appreciated this information and took note of the List of Russian High Priority Projects.

The CEG agreed to recommend to relevant authorities of participating countries/ international organizations to use this List as one of important sources in consideration and taking decisions on their support of co-operation projects in RF and give due consideration to those Russian High Priority Projects, which are not yet covered by international co-operation or not having assured full financing for their timely implementation.

The CEG underlines that the above approach does not diminish the importance of other co-operation projects already underway (or planned) which may cover other topics and geographical regions and get high priority assignment by both Russians and the CEG.

Agenda item 8 : Identification of projects

  1. The CEG considered the information available on the co-operation projects included into the DB and noted that in addition to the already mentioned fact that some countries/organizations have not yet presented the PDFs on their co-operation projects, some of presented PDFs do not contain all necessary information. The CEG asked them to supply as soon as possible all missing information on both the projects presented by them and those where they are co-operative partners.

  2. The CEG decided to study more carefully the suggestions made in the document "Organization and financing of peer-reviews" prepared by the ES for discussion under Agenda item 12"b" and then come back at the next session to identification of projects requiring peer-reviews, if any.

  3. The CEG ES presented preliminary (taking into account incomplete available information) results of identification of overlapping or potentially overlapping projects on the basis of analysis of presented by him lists of "Cooperation Projects by Topics", which can be summed up as follows:

- in 9 of 16 topics seem to be potentially overlapping projects

- many of them most probably describe the same activities, but are not identically described (in mostly unconfirmed PDFs) and apparently duplicate rather than overlap.

The CEG suggested to countries/organizations involved to consider all potentially overlapping projects marked by ES by asterisks and to inform ES on its results. Some of the projects may require further consideration by respective countries/ international organizations and by the ES.

Agenda item 9 : Two-year CEG Plan of Action

The draft CEG Plan of Action (for 1996-97) prepared by the CEG Secretariat has been considered, discussed and approved with some supplements, modifications and specifications.

Agenda item 10 : Technical presentations on selected topics

Technical presentations on:

- Development of metal-concrete containers for storage and transportation of spent fuel. (RF)

- Radiation Protection assessment methods for radioactive waste facilities. (Sweden)

- Bilateral Swedish-Russian co-operation: an overview. (Sweden)

have been presented and discussed. The CEG endorsed further continuation of this practice.

Agenda item 11 : Summary of IAEA’s activities in Waste Management co-operation with Russian Federation

The IAEA (Mr. Bonne, Head, Waste Technology Section) presented summary of IAEA activities in Waste Management co-operation with RF.

The CEG expressed its appreciation on being kept informed on the IAEA activities in this field and importance of using the Agency’s experience.

Agenda item 12 : Organizational problems of the CEG operation

The CEG considered and discussed the proposals prepared by the CEG Secretariat on:

(a) Decision-taking between CEG sessions.

The CEG agreed with the option "A" proposed in the supporting document prepared by the ES (without second paragraph).

(b) Organization and financing of peer reviews.

The supporting material prepared by the Secretariat was presented, but the discussion was postponed until the next meeting.

(c) Financing of the CEG Secretariat.

The paper presented by ES was discussed. The consideration of possible increase of the travel provisions in 1997 has been postponed until the next meeting. The prospects of increasing the number of contributors to the funding of the CEG Secretariat (in addition to 5 countries and the IAEA already committed for 1997) were discussed:

- The CEG members from USA and Germany promised to consider the matter with their authorities and inform soon the CEG Secretariat.

- The UK is unable at present to make a commitment to contribute to the cost of the Secretariat.

- It was noted that at the meeting in Moscow Japanese representatives indicated that, if they joint the CEG, it is possible that they would contribute from the next (1997) year.

The CEG would welcome new voluntary contributors to the CEG Secretariat funding.

(d) Status of the CEG meetings’ participants.

The supporting document prepared by the ES has been presented and briefly discussed. Some members were in favor of giving the right to nominate observers only to "observer" countries/international organizations, while the "full members" could nominate "experts" only. However, the discussion of the whole matter has been postponed to the next meeting.

Agenda item 13 : Time and place of the 3d CEG meeting

The CEG accepted with gratitude the suggestion made by the EU and decided to hold the 3rd CEG meeting on 22-23 January 1997 in Brussels.

The EU member suggested to organize during the preceding day an informal presentation and discussion of the EU activities in the field of the CEG interests. The proposal was welcomed and the matter will be finalized closer to the time of the meeting.

Agenda item 14 : Summing up by the Chairman

The Summing up has been presented by the Chairman, discussed and approved with some modifications as reflected in this document.

In conclusion the Chairman thanked the IAEA through Mr. Bonne for hosting the meeting and hospitality and the Executive Secretary for his good preparatory work. He also thanked all participants as well as the technical staff and interpreters for their contribution to success of the meeting and closed the session.