The IAEA and SERAW host the Annual 2022 DISPONET Meeting


An IAEA-led international team of radioactive waste disposal experts from around the world participated in a Technical Meeting of the International Low Level Waste Disposal Network (DISPONET), held in the period 3 7 October 2022 at the Information Centre for Decommissioning of State Enterprise Radioactive Waste. The forum provided the DISPONET network members an opportunity to share recent developments in their national programmes and to present the national RAW disposal progress in each of the participating countries—Canada, Germany, Brazil, Estonia, Azerbaijan, Iran, Kenya, Lithuania, Nigeria, Pakistan, Malaysia, Romania, Slovakia, Sweden, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, and the United Arab Emirates.
The international team conducted an on-site visit to the Plasma Melting Facility at Specialized Division Decommissioning of Units 1-4, as well as the Storage Facility for Conditioned RAW at Specialized Division Radioactive Waste Kozloduy. The visit to the construction site of the National Disposal Facility for Low and Intermediate Level Radioactive Waste on Radiana site gave the forum participants an opportunity to see the state-of-the-art near-surface disposal facility currently under construction and to comment on important considerations involving the closure and subsequent monitoring of near-surface repositories.
A series of good practices were noted during the discussions, such as having a mobile cover to prevent stormwater from entering the site during RAW package emplacement operations, as well as construction of disposal cells with inspection galleries to monitor and analyse the behaviour of the system.
This meeting is foundational to an IAEA publication under development called “Design consideration for closure of near surface repositories.” This document focuses on design aspects important to the closure of near surface repositories, particularly with respect to the period of institutional control. The on site visit provided an excellent opportunity for the members to discuss disposal of radioactive waste in a practical, hands-on environment.
The IAEA is very thankful for this opportunity and the expert support provided by State Enterprise Radioactive Waste, as summarized by Gerald Westermann in his closing remarks: “I find this week extremely fruitful for all participants. Each country presented its progress in the disposal of RAW in an accessible and understandable way. I hope that by the next DISPONET meeting in Canada, we will again report progress and I wish fruitful work to all of you!”