Those wishing to present at the IAEA International Conference on the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management have only four weeks left to submit their abstracts. The conference, to be held in Vienna from 21-25 November, will highlight the importance of an integrated long-term approach to the management of radioactive waste and spent fuel.
“We look to promote further harmonization of safety in the field of waste disposal and the pre-disposal management of waste,” said Gerard Bruno, Head of the Radioactive Waste and Spent Fuel Management Unit at the IAEA’s Waste and Environmental Safety Section. “The conference will provide a platform to foster information exchange between Member States.”
The sustainable use of nuclear energy and nuclear technologies requires the safe management of radioactive waste and spent fuel. This relies on sound science and technology, and the establishment of an appropriate legal, governmental and regulatory framework.
Over the past decades several countries have made significant progress in the development and implementation of comprehensive radioactive waste and spent fuel management strategies. Some have taken concrete steps towards the implementation of safe geological disposal of high level radioactive waste and spent fuel. A number of countries are considering nuclear power, and will need to develop programmes for the safe and responsible management of radioactive waste and spent fuel.
The November conference will bring together government officials, senior representatives of national regulatory bodies, experts from specialist organizations, manufacturers and industry players, including service providers. The thematic sessions will focus on waste processing, predispoal, storage, disposal of very low level waste, low level waste, intermediate level waste and high level waste including spent fuel. Sessions will also address best practices in policymaking and lessons learned in post-accident waste management.
The conference will also contribute to the identification of Member States’ needs for support from the IAEA in the implementation of solutions for the management of their radioactive waste.
“This conference will be of interests not only to countries that operate power plants,” Bruno said, pointing to the use of radioactive sources in health care, industry and other fields. “Virtually every country generates radioactive waste and has to provide for its safe management.”