Helping IAEA Member States to protect the public and the environment from harmful radiation is a key mission of the Agency. To support this effort, the IAEA is convening the International Experts' Meeting (IEM) on Decommissioning and Remediation After a Nuclear Accident from 28 January to 1 February 2013. The Vienna meeting is part of the Agency's implementation of the IAEA Action Plan on Nuclear Safety - endorsed by the Agency's General Conference in September 2011 - and is organized by the IAEA Department of Nuclear Safety and Security and the Department of Nuclear Energy.
About 200 experts and government officials are expected to participate in the meeting, which will be chaired by Carl-Magnus Larsson, Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency. The participants, from more than 35 nations, include radiation safety experts, decommissioning and remediation specialists, regulatory authorities and radioactive waste management experts. Also participating are a number of international organizations, including the OECD's Nuclear Energy Agency, the International Commission on Radiological Protection, the U.N. Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation and the European Commission.
The IEM provides an opportunity for the participants to share lessons learned from the Fukushima Daiichi accident and to identify the complex safety, technical, environmental and economic issues that must be considered when managing long-term consequences of a nuclear accident. These issues include decommissioning, environmental remediation and radioactive waste management. The meeting will help Member States to improve their preparations and capacities for managing long-term consequences of a nuclear accident.
The IEM will address the following issues, among others:
- National and international frameworks for decommissioning and environmental remediation following accidents;
- Lessons learned from the dismantling of facilities and remediation of lands and water resources affected by past accidents, including constraints to further progress;
- Analysis of the decommissioning and remediation challenges that result from a major accident at a nuclear facility;
- Management of materials and waste resulting from a nuclear accident;
- The status of characterization, decommissioning and remediation efforts at the Fukushima Daiichi facility and adjacent lands;
- Optimization of remediation and decommissioning in a post-accident context; and
- International and national coordination/cooperation.
The IAEA Action Plan on Nuclear Safety, consisting of 12 actions and 39 sub-actions, outlines a programme of work to strengthen global nuclear safety. The plan was adopted by the IAEA Member States at the Agency's General Conference in September 2011. Activities include enhancing and strengthening IAEA expert peer reviews, developing more robust and effective national regulatory bodies and protecting people and the environment from ionizing radiation.