Modern2020 Final Conference
Long-lived radioactive waste must be safely contained and isolated for very long periods. Current programmes for its long-term management are focused on disposal in deep geological repositories. A successful implementation strategy for radioactive waste disposal should address both technical and societal needs and monitoring is considered key in addressing these needs.
It underpins the repository safety strategy and quality of the engineering design. It can contribute to verification of the performance of the disposal system and to demonstration of compliance with regulatory requirements. Monitoring can provide an enhanced comprehension und confirmation of the components evolution and thus allow to appreciate the optimization possibilities. Monitoring can contribute to public and stakeholder understanding of processes occurring in the repository, and hence, it can respond to public concerns and potentially be used to build confidence in geological disposal.
Based on recommendations from international collaborative efforts, including outcomes of the former MoDeRn Project, the overall objective of Modern2020 is to provide the means for developing and implementing an effective and efficient repository operational monitoring programme, that will be driven by safety case needs, and that will take into account the requirements of specific national contexts and public stakeholder expectations in particularly those of local public stakeholders at (potential) disposal sites. The inventories, host rocks, repository concepts and regulations, all of which differ between the countries.
By developing practical monitoring strategies, technologies and stakeholder involvement strategies, the work has supported advanced national radioactive waste disposal programmes in designing monitoring systems suitable for deployment when repositories start operating in the next decade. The work has also supported radioactive waste disposal programmes at an earlier stage of implementation and other stakeholders by illustrating how the national context can be taken into account in designing dedicated monitoring programmes tailored to the national needs.