Decommissioning is the final stage in the lifecycle of any nuclear and radiological facility. Sustainability and circular economy principles demand that it be implemented safely, in a cost effective and environmentally sensitive manner and taking into account the future uses of the site.
There are valuable lessons to be learned from completed and ongoing decommissioning projects, covering a wide variety of facilities (educational and research facilities, fuel cycle facilities, research reactors and nuclear power plants), including decommissioning of facilities which experienced nuclear or radiological incidents and accidents.
The growing decommissioning demand worldwide will benefit from already completed and ongoing projects, but the increasing number of facilities to be decommissioned concurrently in the coming decades raises new challenges in terms of the infrastructure, resources and expertise needed to support their decommissioning.
Purpose and Objectives
The purpose of the event is to discuss achievements, challenges and lessons learned in the decommissioning of nuclear facilities, highlighting current priority needs and sharing information on strategies and approaches that enhance safe, secure and cost-effective implementation of programmes. The event will aim to raise awareness of the importance of addressing decommissioning as part of a sustainable future, supporting optimal use of the resources needed for implementation, enabling further development of sites, and providing relevant knowledge and inputs for new facilities under design or construction.
Key Deadlines and Dates
- Submission of abstracts through IAEA-INDICO
- Submission of Form B (together with Form A) through the InTouch+ platform
- Submission of Form C (together with Form A) through the InTouch+ platform
20 December 2022
- Notification of acceptance of abstracts for oral or poster presentation
31 January 2023
- Electronic submission of full papers through IAEA-INDICO
15 March 2023
- Notification of review of full papers
14 Avril 2023
- Deadline for submission of revised full papers submitted through IAEA-INDICO
Themes and topics
Track 1- Infrastructure and frameworks for effective and efficient decommissioning
This track will consider national policies and strategies, legal, regulatory and institutional frameworks (including decision making processes), financing mechanisms, integrated waste management and transportation systems and specific education and training infrastructure that need to be in place to enable and support the implementation of decommissioning programmes. Decommissioning is currently being implemented in many countries, and therefore wide experience already exists concerning the necessary infrastructure and frameworks to support these programmes.
Keynote topics may include:
- Establishing national frameworks for decommissioning
- Establishing an integrated waste management and transportation system to support decommissioning
- Creating an integrated approach to competence building, including policies and strategies for research and development, education and training
Track 2 - Planning and preparing for decommissioning
This track will consider the planning and preparatory activities to be undertaken prior to commencement of decommissioning. Issues to be addressed will include: organizational approaches to conducting decommissioning as well as emerging contracting models such as licence transfer to specialist decommissioning organizations, cost estimation, human resource planning, procurement processes, assessment of facility conditions (including initial characterization surveys) and assessment of safety of proposed decommissioning actions, radioactive waste and materials management needs, available technologies for decommissioning implementation and associated research and development needs, licensing procedures and communication plans. The session will also cover forward planning by regulatory bodies in preparation for oversight of decommissioning implementation, including by evaluating staffing needs including the required competences, and procedures for oversight of implementation.
Keynote topics may include:
- Planning for decommissioning during a facility’s lifecycle
- Application of the graded approach to decommissioning
- Transition from operation to decommissioning and efficient preparation of decommissioning activities
- Cost estimation for decommissioning including consideration of uncertainties within and beyond the defined project scope
- Addressing uncertainties in scenario planning due to insufficient information (e.g., as regards inventory and facility condition), including the implications of potential major changes to the external environment (out-of-scope risks)
- Stakeholder involvement including timely communication between licensee and regulatory body for building confidence and obtaining social acceptance for decommissioning projects and site reuse.
Track 3 - Implementing decommissioning projects
This track will consider current good practice in the implementation of decommissioning projects, providing opportunities for sharing experiences in discussing technical, regulatory or other challenges, including those gained from dealing with unexpected situations during decommissioning. Good practices in project management will be discussed, including relationships with the supply chain and management of project uncertainties and risks. Technology-specific decommissioning challenges (e.g., for sodium-cooled fast reactors and for graphite-moderated reactors) will be considered. Experiences from decommissioning projects being implemented in the aftermath of incidents or accidents will also be addressed, including consideration of relevant lessons learned and innovations developed to deal with such situations and that may be beneficial to other decommissioning projects.
Keynote topics may include:
- Project management approaches (oversight of contractors, project risk management, key performance indicators to track and steer progress etc.)
- Technical and regulatory challenges and issues for decommissioning implementation (including management of decommissioning waste)
- Systems applied to ensure continuous improvement
- Use of latest technologies, including those developed to implement decommissioning under incident/accident-impacted conditions and now having wider applicability.
Track 4 - Completing decommissioning projects
The track will consider the process of defining the decommissioning end state and the subsequent demonstration of its achievement, including determination of the physical, radiological, and other relevant conditions of the site and remaining structures at the end of decommissioning. The methods and approaches required to demonstrate compliance with relevant end state objectives and criteria will be discussed, including those to reach the agreed end state, radiological surveys and reporting of the final radiological condition and associated regulatory activities. For the case of site release with restrictions on future uses, the institutional measures and controls to be implemented after completion of decommissioning will be considered. The decision-making process related to end state determination, including involvement of stakeholders and considerations of the intended reuse (e.g. general, industrial, nuclear) will be discussed.
Keynote topics may include:
- Regulatory framework, site release criteria and procedures to make sites available for new uses, including scenarios of staged release or partial release with ongoing nuclear use of the remaining site (e.g. on multifacility sites)
- Procedures to demonstrate achievement of the agreed end state (including final survey and records for retention)
- Stakeholder involvement in end the state definition and site release decision-making
- End states for large nuclear sites with legacy facilities
- Final project reporting
Track 5 – Perspectives on enhancing decommissioning effectiveness and efficiency
This track will consider innovations, including ongoing and planned research and development programmes and application of good practices and technologies from other industries, which would enable future and ongoing decommissioning projects to be implemented in a more sustainable manner. Lessons learned from ongoing projects suggest opportunities for a more effective and efficient decommissioning in the future, including decommissioning by design approach. Innovations, both technical and organizational, could contribute to achieving this objective. The management of assets, decommissioning of materials and waste in the context of circular economy principles, will also be discussed, including application of the waste hierarchy. Measures that may promote greater resilience in the supply chain and improved dialogue with stakeholders will be considered.
Keynote topics may include:
- Improved knowledge management systems to capture lessons learned and facilitate their use in decommissioning projects
- Development of new technologies and techniques, e.g. decontamination and dismantling technologies
- Application of digitalization, robotics and related experiences from other industries
- Facilitating international cooperation and information exchange in decommissioning projects, including harmonization of practices and associated standards
- Decommissioning and waste management considerations at the design stage of facilities, including the new types of nuclear facilities (e.g. SMRs, fusion facilities)
Participation and Registration
All persons wishing to participate in the event must be designated by an IAEA Member State or should be member of an organization that has been invited to attend. The list of invited organizations is available here.
Registration through the InTouch+ platform:
Access the InTouch+ platform (https://intouchplus.iaea.org):
- Persons with an existing NUCLEUS account can sign in here with their username and password;
- Persons without an existing NUCLEUS account can register here.
Once signed in, prospective participants can use the InTouch+ platform to:
- Complete or update their personal details under ‘Basic Profile’ (if no financial support is requested) or under ‘Complete Profile’ (if financial support is requested) and upload the relevant supporting documents;
- Search for the relevant event (EVT2102332) under the ‘My Eligible Events’ tab;
- Select the Member State or invited organization they want to represent from the drop-down menu entitled ‘Designating authority’ (if an invited organization is not listed, please contact Conference.Contact-Point@iaea.org);
- If applicable, indicate whether a paper is being submitted and complete the relevant information;
- If applicable, indicate whether financial support is requested and complete the relevant information (this is not applicable to participants from invited organizations);
- Based on the data input, the InTouch+ platform will automatically generate Participation Form (Form A), Form for Submission of a Paper (Form B) and/or Grant Application Form (Form C);
- Submit their application.
Once submitted through the InTouch+ platform, the application will be transmitted automatically to the required authority (e.g. Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Permanent Mission to the IAEA or National Atomic Energy Authority). If approved, the application will automatically be sent to the IAEA.
NOTE: Should prospective participants wish to submit a paper or request financial support, the application needs to be submitted by the specified deadlines.
If it is not possible to submit the application through the InTouch+ platform, prospective participants are requested to contact the IAEA’s Conference Services Section via email: Conference.Contact-Point@iaea.org.
Conference Web Page
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