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Terms of Reference for the International Radioactive Waste Technical Committee (WATEC)


The International Radioactive Waste Technical Committee (WATEC) is a group of experts which provides advice to the IAEA and which supports programme implementation, reflecting a global network of excellence and expertise in the field of radioactive waste management, decommissioning and environmental remediation.


The International Radioactive Waste Technical Committee (WATEC) is a working group of senior international experts in radioactive waste management, decommissioning and environmental remediation, with particular emphasis on strategies, implementation, technologies and methodologies. WATEC advises the Secretariat on programme activities in the relevant field and helps to maintain transversal connectivity with other fields of work in the Agency. The development of safety standards is not included, as this is addressed by other IAEA Committees.


Within the scope defined above, the functions of WATEC are:

  1. To provide advice and guidance, and to marshal support in their countries for implementation of the Agency's programmatic activities.
  2. To provide a forum for information and knowledge sharing on national and international programme development.
  3. To act as a link between the Agency’s activities and the national scientific and technical communities, as well as relevant regional and / or international organizations.
  4. To provide advice on preparatory actions in Member States and the Agency’s activities in planning and implementing coordinated research projects, collaborative assessments and other activities as well as the review of the results.
  5. To develop and/or review selected documents from the Nuclear Energy Series, assess existing gaps and advise on preparation of new ones.
  6. To identify important topics for discussion at SAGNE and contribute to status reports, technical meetings and topical conferences in the relevant fields.
  7. To encourage the participation of young professionals, as appropriate, in Agency activities.
  8. To provide input on advice regarding preparatory actions by Member States for planning and implementing relevant activities.


Members of WATEC shall be appointed by the Deputy Director General and Head of the Department of Nuclear Energy following consultation with the respective national authorities or organizations.

Members of WATEC:

  • Shall be recognized experts in the relevant fields or have broad responsibilities for programmes in these fields and have extensive links with national technical communities;
  • Are to serve for a standard term of four years;
  • Shall participate in the Group in their personal capacity and shall provide appropriate views on national policies and strategies;
  • May, as appropriate, bring experts to provide additional information and share experience in the meetings of WATEC.

The total membership of WATEC shall not exceed 20 members.

The Deputy Director General and Head of the Department of Nuclear Energy may from time to time also co-opt additional members and/or invite observers from other Member States and international or regional organizations on an ad-hoc or continuing basis, to fully participate in the work of WATEC.


The Chairman of WATEC shall be selected from the members of WATEC by the Deputy Director General and Head of the Department of Nuclear Energy.

Secretariat and administrative and technical support

Within available resources, the Deputy Director General and Head of the Department of Nuclear Energy will provide for administrative and secretariat services required by WATEC, including meeting facilities, maintenance of records and distribution of documents.

The IAEA shall provide the services of a scientific secretary, drawn from the leading professional staff of either Waste Technology Section or Decommissioning and Environmental Remediation Section. Support, when required, will be provided by managers/staff from within the Department of Nuclear Energy, or other relevant departments.

Methods of work and deliverables

Except as otherwise herein stated, WATEC will determine its own methods of work, including preparation of its Agenda, establishment of special groups, keeping of records and other procedures, and reporting on its findings to SAGNE.

The activity of WATEC between periodic meetings shall be coordinated by the Scientific Secretary taking into due consideration the relevant recommendations of WATEC and SAGNE.

Following each meeting WATEC shall provide the Deputy Director General and Head of Department of Nuclear Energy with a report on its achievements and recommendations.

The Chairman of WATEC shall communicate to SAGNE recommendations for strategic development or other important topics to be discussed at SAGNE meetings.


WATEC will meet at regular intervals but no more than once in a year with each meeting lasting up to four workings days. Extraordinary meetings may be called when required.

Meetings will be conducted in English only.


The IAEA is not in a position to bear the travel and other costs of members to WATEC meetings. All costs involved in the participation of each member, including travel and per diem expenses, shall in general be supported by the nominating Member State/organization. However, the IAEA may contribute to the cost of attendance of members from developing countries, if sufficient funds are available and if a significant contribution can be made to the meeting by the respective members.

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