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International Conference on the Management of Spent Fuel from Nuclear Power Reactors: Learning from the Past, Enabling the Future

24–28 June 2019, Vienna, Austria

The safe, secure and sustainable management of spent fuel from nuclear power reactors is key to the sustainable utilization of nuclear energy and covers many technological aspects related to the storage, transportation, recycling and disposal of spent fuel and high level waste generated from spent fuel reprocessing.

The sustainability of nuclear energy involves the preservation of natural resources and the minimization of generated wastes. Currently, in some countries, the uranium and plutonium remaining in spent fuel are recycled as mixed oxide (MOX) fuel in thermal reactors, saving natural uranium resources. Future advanced fuel cycles based on next generation reactors aim at making nuclear energy almost independent of uranium natural resources and will dramatically reduce the generated wastes.

The 2015 IAEA International Conference on the Management of Spent Fuel from Nuclear Power Reactors highlighted that there is little integration in the fuel cycle in terms of analysing how decisions made in one part of the fuel cycle may affect another part. Introducing efficiencies into individual steps in isolation can create additional challenges in subsequent steps. In most cases a technical solution can be found, but this is likely to come at a price. Therefore, one of the main challenges is to maintain enough flexibility to accommodate the range of potential future options for the management of spent fuel as well as to define and address the relevant issues in storage and transportation, given current uncertainties.

Scope and Objectives

The scope of the conference covers the management of spent fuel from nuclear power reactors from the past, present and future nuclear energy systems, and how the management of spent fuel can be affected by the decisions taken in the rest of the nuclear fuel cycle.

The objectives of the conference are:

  • to provide a forum for the exchange of information on national spent fuel management strategies and on how a changing energy mix could impact these strategies to enable the achievement of national energy goals;
  • to illustrate the impacts of an integrated approach to the nuclear fuel cycle on the management of spent fuel from power reactors, considering technological developments, regulatory requirements and safety; and
  • To allow for the evaluation of advances in the management of spent fuel from power reactors to overcome current issues and to identify strategies and anticipated challenges to be addressed in preparation for the future;


The conference is aimed at scientists, designers, operators, regulators and others with responsibilities within the field of spent fuel management.

This includes: practitioners; policy makers responsible for and experts and representatives from specialist organizations that contribute to the management of spent fuel; international and regional organizations with relevant competencies; national governmental authorities; manufacturers and service providers; and other entities engaged in activities relevant to spent fuel management.

Main Topics to be Covered

  • National strategies for spent fuel management;
  • Spent fuel and high level waste storage (short term, long term and extended) and subsequent transportability;
  • Transportation in the back end;
  • Recycling as a spent fuel management option;
  • Impacts of advanced nuclear energy systems on the back end of the fuel cycle;
  • Disposal; and
  • Challenges in an integrated approach to the back-end system (including storage, transport, recycling and disposal).

Key Deadlines

  • 4 November 2018: Submission of abstract (including Forms A and B)
  • 22 October 2018: Submission of grant applications (Form C)
  • 18 December 2018: Notification of acceptance of abstract
  • 25 February 2019: Submission of full paper

Registration and Funds

No registration fee is charged.

Limited funds are available to assist certain participants. Approved grants will usually cover only part of the cost of attendance.


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.

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.

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