7th International Conference on Geological Repositories - Empowering Progress in Development of Deep Geological Repositories

Seventh International Conference on Geological Repositories

Empowering Progress in Development of Deep Geological Repositories

 27 -  31 May 2024

The Onkalo spent nuclear fuel repository, Posiva

ICGR-7 is themed "Empowering  Progress in Developing Deep Geological Repositories"There is a broad consensus within the international community that geological repositories can provide the necessary long-term safety and security to isolate long-lived radioactive waste from the human environment over extended timescales. At a global scale, there is now a body of experience in developing the licensing of deep geological repositories (DGRs) that has established a foundational structure for other countries to explore and initiate their own DGRs. DGR development is a multi-disciplinary endeavor, covering numerous transversal cross-cutting scientific and policy aspects. This includes, but is not limited to, societal, political, ethical, legal, and economic elements, along with specific considerations to building and maintaining public confidence, ensuring sufficient human capacity, and transferring information and expertise across generations to manage long-lived HLW in DGRs. Building upon the success of previous conferences held in Denver (1999), Stockholm (2003), Berne (2007), Toronto (2012), Paris (2016), and Helsinki (2022), ICGR-7 will gather key stakeholders in DGR development. Participation will include government officials, regulators, decision-makers, implementers, research organizations, international organizations, academia, and young professionals in radioactive waste management.

ICGR-7 is a collaborative endeavor of the NEA, co-organised with Korea’s Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE), in co-operation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the European Commission (EC). Korea Radioactive Waste Agency (KORAD) is the local host of ICGR-7. 

(Main Cover Photo Credit:Tawatchai Prakobkit| Dreamstime)

ICGR-7 Opening Keynote Remarks

Hosted by:

With many thanks to the following organisations for their support of ICGR-7

Highlights from ICGR-6

The main objectives of ICGR-6 were to: 

• Take stock of progress made since 2022 in developing and implementing geological repositories for long-lived radioactive waste, and to advance mutual learning through exchange of perspectives and experiences. 
• To examine the latest issues and challenges encountered by various stakeholders in different developmental stages by sharing experiences among countries developing geological repositories. 
• To enhance international co-operation for transforming research results into practical and reliable technologies for the long-term implementation of deep geological disposal facilities. 
• To identify opportunities to strengthen co-operation for building and increasing confidence in the geological repository life cycle. 
• To improve involvement of the younger generation in the development and research of geological disposal.

Overview of the last edition of ICGR-6 in Helsinki, Finland

The Role of Underground Research Laboratories and International Collaboration 

 This session invited speakers to share their experiences on different ways to demonstrate technical reliability for operational and long-term safety. This session began with experiences of operational underground research laboratories. Speakers from different countries and international organisations shared the current status and future plans on the research and international collaboration in several underground research laboratories and geological repositories.
Best Practices to Build and Maintain Trust 

This session invited speakers from the NEA Forum on Stakeholder Confidence (FSC) to share the best practices to build and maintain trust with local stakeholders (and the public). The presenters focussed on the concepts of added value and youth engagement sharing specific examples of current practices in engaging stakeholders. This session also invited social scientists, non-governmental organisations (NGO) and a representative from the Younger Generation Session. The elements covered in this session include factors for building and maintaining trust, examples of creating a dialogue with local stakeholders/affected communities and the engagement of youth Local community representative(s) to show their experiences and lessons learned in the siting and development of a deep geological repository
Status of National Geological Repository Projects 

This session invited speakers from countries that are in different phases of development to give an overview of their current situation and of progress achieved since the last ICGR in 2016, showcasing countries at different development stages, covering various processes from siting to licensing. Participants discussed challenges of countries towards operation including decision-making process and challenges of countries in concept phase