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  • Implementing Geological Disposal of Radioactive Waste Technology Platform

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Presentation

The European council has outlined in its decision 2006/976/EURATOM that the emphasis in the Euratom research should be Implementation-oriented R&D activities on all remaining key aspects of deep geological disposal of spent fuel and long-lived radioactive waste. As appropriate, demonstration on the technologies and safety, and to underpin the development of a common European view on the main issues related to the management and disposal of waste are emphasised.

The instrument of European Technology Platforms (ETPs) have been introduced by EC to:

  • Provide a framework for stakeholders, led by industry, to define research and development priorities, timeframes and action plans on a number of strategically important issues where achieving Europe's future growth, competitiveness and sustainability objectives is dependent upon major research and technological advances in the medium to long term.
  • Play a key role in ensuring an adequate focus of research funding on areas with a high degree of industrial relevance, by covering the whole economic value chain and by mobilising public authorities at national and regional levels. In fostering effective public-private partnerships, technology platforms have the potential to contribute significantly to the renewed Lisbon strategy and to the development of a European Research Area of knowledge for growth. As such, they are proving to be powerful actors in the development of European research policy, in particular in orienting the Seventh Research Framework Programme to better meet the needs of industry.
  • Address technological challenges that can potentially contribute to a number of key policy objectives which are essential for Europe's future competitiveness, including the timely development and deployment of new technologies, technology development with a view to sustainable development, new technology-based public goods and services, technological breakthroughs necessary to remain at the leading edge in high technology sectors and the restructuring of traditional industrial sectors.

During 2006-2007 the waste management organisations and other bodies concerned with implementation of deep geological disposal carried out, with the financial support of the European Commission, a feasibility study called Co-ordination Action on Research, Development and Demonstration Priorities and Strategies for Geological Disposal (CARD) on establishing a technology platform for final disposal in deep geological formations. Based on the discussion following the results of the CARD-project, the waste management organisations of Sweden, SKB and of Finland Posiva Oy, accepted to take the lead in the activities to prepare for implementing of such a technology platform.

The waste management organisations share the opinion that it is time to proceed to licence the construction and operation of deep geological repositories for spent fuel, high-level waste, and other long-lived radioactive waste. They also agree that the technology platform is the appropriate tool to facilitate the implementation process. The Vision Report has been prepared by an Interim Executive Group (IEG) with members from SKB (Sweden), Posiva (Finland), Andra (France) and the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology (BMWi, Germany). Active support in the preparations, and endorsement of the Vision Report, has also been received from ONDRAF (Belgium), Enresa (Spain), Nagra (Switzerland) and from NDA (United Kingdom).

Way forward

The pdf Strategic Research Agenda (SRA) 2011 is published and the pdf IGD-TP's Deployment Plan (DP) is now in public consultation. A dedicated working group finalises the document during spring 2012.

In the pdf Vision Report you will find information on the benefits of joining the IGD-TP and how to participate in the work! You will also find an application form for participating in the IGD-TP.

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