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News Alert

Technology Platform for Implementing Geological Disposal launched

Brussels, 12 November 2009

Today the Technology Platform for Implementing Geological Disposal (IGD-TP) of nuclear waste was launched in Brussels with the support of the European Commission.

This marks the successful outcome of a process started with a feasibility study carried out by the Euratom 6th Framework Programme (FP6) project, 'CARD'. Since then, radioactive waste management organisations in Sweden, Finland and France, together with the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology, have piloted the setting up of this TP.  They have also used input from other key radioactive waste management organisations in Europe and consulted widely among R&D organisations and other stakeholders, including national authorities, academia and international bodies.
The Vision Document presented at the launch event describes the mission, objectives, benefits and organisation of the TP. It also summarises the technical steps needed within the next 10-15 years to implement geological disposal of nuclear waste in those Member States with the most advanced national programme. These will be the world's first geological repositories for high-level and long-lived nuclear waste. Europe is leading the way in implementing safe and sustainable solutions for managing the back end of the nuclear fuel cycle.
IGD-TP will define and then implement a strategic research agenda that will coordinate the efforts needed to address the remaining scientific, technological and socio-political challenges. Its aim is the geological disposal of nuclear waste while respecting the highest levels of safety and environmental protection. It will also further enhance societal confidence in geological disposal and promote the development of disposal solutions across the EU.
The founding members are waste management organisations in Belgium (ONDRAF/NIRAS), Finland (Posiva), France (Andra), Spain (ENRESA), Sweden (SKB), Switzerland (Nagra) and UK (NDA), and the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology (BMWi). 

Background

Euratom has supported research on radioactive waste management, in particular geological disposal of high-level and long-lived waste, for more than 30 years. Over €300 million has been committed to shared-cost actions up to the end of FP6 (2002-2006), and support is continuing at a similar rate per year in the current framework programme, FP7, but with the focus becoming increasingly implementation oriented.  IGD-TP will enable this cooperation in Europe to be further enhanced and ensure resources are used efficiently and effectively.
European Technology Platformsprovide a framework for R&D stakeholders, led by industry or end-users, to define research and development priorities, timeframes and action plans. They address technological challenges that can potentially contribute to a number of key policy objectives essential for Europe's future competitiveness.   Today, over 30 Technology Platforms have been established.

Additional information

IGD-TP Vision Document and information on membership
Details of other Technology Platforms
The need for radioactive waste management solutions is mentioned in the Community's Strategic Energy Technology (SET) – Plan (COM(2007)723 of 22 November 2007 )
The Joint Research Centre (JRC) has published a report about the latest technology development in the field of deep geological disposal of nuclear waste

Contacts

Gaetano Di Bartolo: gaetano.di-bartolo@ec.europa.eu  +32 2 29 90387
Florian Frank: florian.frank@ec.europa.eu  +32 2 29 97934