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International Conference on Radioactive Waste Management: Solutions for a Sustainable Future

1–5 November 2021, Vienna, Austria

Conference on Radioactive Waste Management 2021

The Conference is envisaged to be in-person, with the possibility of remote connection. Details on remote connection will be provided at a later time.

» Observer Registration Virtual Attendance Only →


Participants from Member States need to register using the InTouch+ platform regardless of whether they will be attending in person or virtually. When submitting their application through InTouch+, it will automatically be routed through InTouch+ to the designated focal person for approval. For a few Member States, such a focal person has not been assigned, and participants from these Member States will see a note informing them to submit their application offline. Should this be the case, please contact the IAEA Conference Services.

Participants from invited IGOs and NGOs also need to register using the InTouch+ platform. When submitting their application through InTouch+, it will automatically be routed through InTouch+ to the designated focal point for approval. If such a focal person has not been assigned, the application will be submitted automatically to the IAEA.

Persons who would like limited access to the virtual conference platform, without going via their Member State, can register as an observer. The relevant link to the observer registration tool, will be made available approximately one month before the start of the event. Observers have access to conference related material (e.g. abstracts, presentations, posters) and to other functions within the virtual conference platform.

Persons who simply would like to follow discussions during the conference can do so via the live-stream link which will be available on this website.

The purpose of the event is to share experiences in the management of radioactive waste, with the aim of increasing the visibility of progress, good practice and effective solutions.

Considerable progress continues to be made worldwide in the management of radioactive waste. Effective solutions are either available or are in an advanced stage of development for the full range of radioactive waste management activities. Even more progress can be foreseen in the near- and medium-term futures.

The sustainable application of nuclear technologies for the benefit of humanity, in cancer therapy, generating low-carbon electricity, improving crop yields and many other applications is fully connected with the responsible management of wastes arising. Users of nuclear technologies acknowledge and embrace this responsibility and continue to make good progress. Continuing this responsible trend is important to society and is supportive of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Sharing this progress, exchanging ideas on lessons learned and identifying key areas of progress for the future are essential components which enable operators, regulators and senior government officials to further strengthen their programmes.

The techniques for the safe management of the various types of waste arising from the different applications are generally well established and extensive experience has been obtained in most areas. Nevertheless, radioactive waste remains an important item on the agenda of many Member States particularly those that need to increase their capabilities and capacities to manage waste safely and securely. This is also the case because of perceptions and misunderstandings concerning radioactive waste. Therefore, the subject continues to be highly topical.

In line with the IAEA’s continuous efforts to accelerate and enlarge the contribution of atomic technology to peace health and prosperity, throughout the world and to foster the exchange of scientific and technical information, the IAEA is organising an International Conference on Radioactive Waste Management. The main objective of the Conference is to foster information exchange on current progress and solutions in the area of radioactive waste management. It is only through the effective, safe and secure implementation of radioactive waste management solutions that Member States can continue to benefit from nuclear technologies and nuclear energy production and, therefore, progress towards achieving a sustainable future.

Format and Topics

The IAEA welcomes high-quality, well structured, abstracts and papers in all fields of radioactive waste management, including from the nuclear power generation, research and education, as well as industrial, agricultural and medical fields:

1. Radioactive Waste Management – National Programmatic Perspectives

Submitted abstracts and papers should address current practices and perspectives in managing radioactive waste at a national programmatic level, including national waste management strategies, policies, and regulatory frameworks. Methods and approaches implemented to achieve significant milestones can be highlighted, including major achievements in managing specific waste streams.

2. Radioactive Waste Management –Implementation of Waste Management Strategies

Submitted papers and abstracts should focus on progress towards achieving specific programme objectives for typical waste streams (operational and decommissioning wastes from Nuclear Power Plants, institutional wastes including research reactors, and Disused Sealed Radioactive Sources (DSRSs)). Strategies, methods and approaches that have been implemented or demonstrated, ready for implementation, can be highlighted.

3. Solutions for Specific Wastes

Submitted papers and abstracts should focus on solutions for radioactive waste streams that have specific or challenging properties or characteristics, or that derive from less common or unique facilities, activities or legacies. For example, such waste streams might include high activity DSRS or neutron sources, graphite from reactor cores, waste also having hazardous properties (e.g., organic liquids and solids), waste from prototype and high temperature reactors, depleted uranium, wastes from sites that have been remediated, or sites with ongoing challenges, etc.

4. Role of the Safety Case Development in Supporting Radioactive Waste Management

Submitted papers and abstracts should focus on the underpinning science, technology and engineering programmes needed and developed to facilitate the licensing of radioactive waste management operations. Attention will be given to R&D programmes and their relationship to safety case development, optimization of designs, building on previous R&D programmes and upscaling R&D results to implementation readiness.

5. Socio-Economic Aspects of Radioactive Waste Management Programmes

Submitted papers and abstracts should focus on the non-technical aspects of radioactive waste management by highlighting experiences gained at a programmatic level and their successful application. Papers are expected to focus on examples of proven strategies and practices that can be implemented to enhance public awareness and communication with stakeholders, risk perception and understanding as well as socio-economic strategies for best addressing these.

6. Integrated Waste Management

Submitted papers and abstracts should focus on the concept of Integrated Waste Management, highlighting its advantages towards sustainable waste management. Attention will be given to innovative approaches and technologies waste minimization by design in all fields of nuclear technology. To this end advances in regulation and programme strategies aimed at early consideration of waste minimization will also be considered.

7. Multinational Cooperation in Radioactive Waste Management

Submitted papers and abstracts should focus on international perspectives in the management of radioactive waste streams through disposal. Attention will be given to trans-national solutions for different waste streams, activities by other international organizations, and advances or needs in multi-lateral agreements and arrangements. Presentations on standardization of approaches in characterization, processing, storage and disposal as further enablers of effective multinational action are welcomed.

Objectives and Expected Outcomes

The Conference aims to foster information exchange on current progress and solutions in the area of radioactive waste management.

The Conference will highlight the effectiveness of radioactive waste management techniques and technologies as currently applied and will contribute to promoting the adoption of good practices and well-integrated approaches for the future. Only with successfully implemented radioactive waste management solutions can nuclear energy and related technologies contribute to a sustainable future for all of us.


The Conference is aimed at senior government officials, high-level staff from waste management organizations, regulators, waste producers and other stakeholders, as well as technical and scientific experts working in all areas of radioactive waste management. The conference is also intended to attract industry and civil society representatives, including non-governmental organisations and academic institutions. The IAEA welcomes and encourages the participation of women, young professionals and individuals from developing countries.

Conference app

The IAEA Conferences and Meetings App provides a one-stop access to information on the Conference, exhibitions and scheduled side events. The app also allows users to put together their own personalized schedule of events. Via this app participants will be able to view contributed papers and the latest conference programme, message other participants, and view PowerPoint presentations released after the event. Participants will receive an email inviting them to register for the app approximately one week before the conference.

For iPhone or iPad users, get your free download through the Apple iTunes Store; those with Android devices can visit the Google Play Store.


To demonstrate its commitment to sustainability, the IAEA will organize this conference as a 'green meeting' according to the guidelines of the Austrian Ecolabel.

There will be a focus on the areas of paper smart documentation, waste reduction and recycling, and environmentally friendly catering.

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