Waste Technology Section

Decommissioning of Facilities

Facilitating the transfer of sustainable technologies for decommissioning of facilities

Objective: To provide information and guidance and to support research on strategic, organizational, managerial and technological approaches to best practice in decommissioning, including assessment and minimization of decommissioning material/ waste.

Responsible Officer : Michele LARAIA

The IAEA Programme on Decommissioning:

To get access to the IAEA Decommissioning Activities, click on http://goto.iaea.org/decommissioning/

The International Decommissioning Network (IDN):

At the end of 2007, the IAEA launched a new network focused on the transfer of practical information on decommissioning amongst practitioners. Click here to access the IDN homepage.

International Peer Review Services

Peer review services are provided at the request of member States based on international safety standards, good international practices and other relevant recommendations in this field. For more information on Decommissioning Peer Reviews, please read the following documents:

Current and Recent Work:

Several reports on specific aspects of decommissioning, including the dismantling of “difficult” systems or components have been recently completed. Others are being completed and are close to the publishing stage. In addition, the Agency currently provides support to Member States through the Department of Technical Cooperation (in cooperation with the Waste Safety Section-WSS).

Guidance and Technical Publications:

The following list presents Agency documents recently published on the subject of Decommissioning. Please click on the links below to find more detailed information.

Forthcoming Documents:

An IAEA report approved for publication deal with decommissioning impacts on a wide range of stakeholders. Decision making, in the context of projects which have an impact on communities and their environment, is increasingly being implemented with the involvement of those affected by the project – "the stakeholders". It is clear that decommissioning projects fall into this category and there is already some experience of related decisions in Member States having involved stakeholders. It is noteworthy that the notion of "stakeholders" is not necessarily limited to those living in the vicinity of a nuclear facility: funding bodies, waste managers, archaeological societies are only a few examples of physically distant "stakeholders". It is important for all concerned in decommissioning projects to understand the issues that may affect decisions and therefore to be able to gain from the experiences already obtained in other countries. It is recognized, however, that all experiences may not be universally relevant and that some issues have a particular national character.

The overall objective of the IAEA activities on decommissioning is to promote the exchange of lessons learned, in order to improve the technologies that are important in the planning and implementation of decommissioning. This should be achieved through a better understanding of the decision-making process in technology comparison and selection, and relevant issues affecting the entire decommissioning process. The specific objectives of the recently completed Co-ordinated Research Project (CRP) on Innovative and Adaptive Technologies in Decommissioning of Nuclear Facilities (2004-2008) include the following general aspects:

  1. To establish methodologies and data needs for developing concepts and approaches relevant to technology comparison and selection in decommissioning;
  2. To improve and expand the database on applications and performance of various types of decommissioning technologies;
  3. To address specific issues for individual decommissioning technologies and generate data relevant to their comparison and selection.

A TECDOC summarizing the main achievements, progress made, pending issues and a path forward from the CRP was recently approved for publication.

Technical Cooperation Projects:

There are currently two significant national and one regional Technical Co-operation projects in the Decommissioning area:

Related IAEA Publications

Technology Management Implementation Development Special Topics
Organization and Management for the Decommissioning of Large Nuclear Facilities,
TRS-399 (2000)
Record keeping for the Decommissioning of Nuclear Facilities: Guidelines and Experience,
TRS-411 (2002)
Decommissioning of Stacks at Nuclear Facilities – (approved for publication) The Transition from Operation to Decommissioning of Nuclear Installations,
TRS-420 (2004)

Decommissioning of Small Medical, Industrial and Research Facilities,
TRS-414 (2003)

On-site Disposal as a Decommissioning Strategy,
IAEA-TECDOC-1124 (1999)

Decommissioning of Underground Structures, Systems and Components,
TRS-439 (2006)
Planning, Organizational and Management Aspects of Decommissioning: Lessons Learned,
IAEA-TECDOC-1394 (2004)

The Decommissioning of WWER-Type Nuclear Power Plants,
IAEA-TECDOC-1133 (2000)

Decommissioning Techniques for Research Reactors- Final report of a Co-ordinated Research Project 1997-2001,
IAEA-TECDOC-1273 (2002)


Decommissioning of research reactors: evolution, state-of-the-art, open issues
TRS-446 (2006)

Redevelopment of Nuclear Facilities after Decommissioning,
TRS-444 (2006)