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New Crowdsourcing Challenge: Decommissioning and Environmental Remediation 2020


The IAEA is inviting professionals under age 35 to present technical or non-technical concepts, novel applications under development or prototype techniques in testing phase. (Photo: Institute of Energy Technology (IFE), Norway) 

The IAEA is inviting young professionals from around the world to propose an original concept or project outline for advancing the decommissioning of nuclear facilities or environmental remediation of radiologically contaminated sites. The winners will be invited to present their entries at the IAEA General Conference in September.

Professionals under age 35 are invited to present technical or non-technical concepts, novel applications under development or prototype techniques in testing phase. The submissions can cover topics such as physical and radiological characterization of facilities and sites, decontamination and dismantling, human resources development and similar.

“Innovative technologies in this field can make decommissioning and environmental remediation more cost effective, faster and safer,” said Mikhail Chudakov, Deputy Director General and Head of the IAEA Department of Nuclear Energy. “They can also contribute to successful planning and implementation of ongoing and new projects across the world.”

The Challenge is also aimed at highlighting the attractive opportunities and career prospects available to young people in this field.

“This is an opportunity to engage with universities and research laboratories and expand the pool of talent that can support decommissioning and environmental remediation in the future,” said Olena Mykolaichuk, Head of the IAEA Decommissioning and Environmental Remediation Section. “We hope to reach out to young scientists and engineers and make sure they are aware of various jobs that these fields can offer.”

Submissions can be made by individuals or teams with major contribution by young professionals.

The winners will be sponsored to present their entries on the margins of the 64th Annual Regular Session of the IAEA General Conference, scheduled to take place 21-25 September in Vienna, Austria.

The deadline for submission of abstracts is 31 May 2020. Evaluation of proposals will be done by an expert committee established by the IAEA. For more details about the competition please click here.

For any questions please send an email.


As of 31 December 2019, 178 nuclear power reactors have been permanently shut down across the world. Of those, 17 reactors have been fully decommissioned, while several are approaching the final stages of decommissioning. More than 150 fuel cycle facilities have been permanently shut down or are undergoing decommissioning and close to 130 have been decommissioned. More than 560 research reactors and critical assemblies have been permanently shut down, out of which about 440 have been fully decommissioned.

The IAEA assists its Member States in planning and the decommissioning of nuclear installations and other facilities utilizing radioactive material as well as remediation of contaminated sites in accordance with the IAEA Safety Standards and Nuclear Energy Series technical guidance. It also supports exchange of knowledge and good practices as well as technical information in this field. Its eLearning platform contains lectures on spent fuel and radioactive waste management, decommissioning and environmental remediation.

The IAEA’s International Decommissioning Network (IDN) and Network of Environmental Management and Remediation (ENVIRONET) provide a forum for interaction and collaboration between professionals involved in decommissioning and environmental remediation activities. Sharing of experiences and knowledge from decommissioning projects is facilitated through a wiki-based information resource maintained by the IDN. An additional service to Member States concerns peer review and advisory services, such as ARTEMIS, providing expert reviews of decommissioning programmes, of radioactive waste and spent fuel management programmes, and of environmental remediation programmes.

In 2019, the IAEA designated Norway’s Institute of Energy Technology (IFE) and Italy’s Decommissioning and Radioactive Waste Management Company (SOGIN) as Collaborating Centres, strengthening cooperation with a focus on digitalization of knowledge management and knowledge transfer and training in nuclear decommissioning.

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