Optimising Management of Low-level Radioactive Materials and Waste from Decommissioning

Low-level and very low-level waste represent the vast majority of radioactive waste by volume from decommissioning activity at nuclear facilities around the world, but they are only a small fraction of the radiological inventory. The availability of the appropriate waste management infrastructure, including a robust process and procedures for managing waste, waste disposal routes and an appropriate safety culture, are key components of an optimal approach to decommissioning. Recognising the important role of an effective waste management strategy in the delivery of a successful decommissioning programme, the former NEA Working Party on Decommissioning and Dismantling (WPDD) established an expert group in 2016 – the Task Group on Optimising Management of Low-Level Radioactive Materials and Waste from Decommissioning (TGOM) – to examine how countries manage (very) low-level radioactive waste and materials arising from decommissioning.

This report explores elements contributing to the optimisation of national approaches at a strategic level, describing the main factors and the relationships between them. It also identifies constraints in the practical implementation of optimisation based on experience in NEA member countries.