Upon request from a Member State, or an organization within a Member State, the Agency undertakes the responsibility of convening an international panel of experts and performing an independent peer review according to the terms of reference established by the requesting Member state or organization. The mechanisms used for this purpose are (a) review of source material, (b) technical exchange with experts of the requesting Member State or organization in a WATRP meeting, and (c) preparation of a review report with findings, conclusions and recommendations.
The advantage of such a peer review for the requesting Member State or organization is the obtaining of independent international experts’ opinions and advice on (a) proposed or ongoing radioactive waste management programmes, (b) planning, operation or decommissioning of facilities, or (c) regulatory matters. WATRP can contribute to improving the confidence level of waste management systems planned or in operation, and help to ensure that the systems perform in a safe and reliable manner. WATRP can also assist in improving public acceptability of national programmes.
WATRP reviews that have been performed are:
A WATRP report is the property of the requesting organization, for use at its own discretion, and will be kept confidential by the Agency and the WATRP team. Publication of the report must have the permission of the requesting organization. The WATRP service has been established in such a way that Member States pay for the costs involved. Requests for WATRP services are initiated by a formal request from Member States or an organization within a Member State to the Director General of the IAEA.