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18.11.2009 15:12

Posiva promotes technology cooperation in Europe on the final disposal of nuclear waste

Technology Platform for Implementing Geological Disposal (IGD-TP) supported by the European Commission, has now been established to add momentum to final disposal programmes of high-level, long-lived nuclear waste.

IGD-TP is backed by organisations in charge of the implementation of nuclear waste maintenance in various European countries, and the Finnish Posiva, and the Swedish SKB (Svensk Kärnbränslehantering) have been key parties in preparing the Technology Platform. IGD-TP aims, by making mutual cooperation more intensive, to help facilitate the first final disposal facilities required for the final disposal of long-lived nuclear waste being introduced by 2025.


The charter specifying IGD-TP’s objectives was introduced in a launch event arranged by the European Commission, held in Brussels on Thursday, 12 November 2009. The event was attended by over a hundred representatives from organisations in charge of EU member countries’ nuclear waste management implementation, control and permits. From Finland, the panel discussions at the event were participated in by, among others, Riku Huttunen, industrial counsellor for the Ministry of Employment and the Economy, and Reijo Sundell, CEO of Posiva. According to Huttunen, establishing IGD-TP supports the aims specified for the nuclear waste management of Finland both in the Nuclear Energy Act and in the decisions in principle that have previously been made. Sundell stressed the importance of decision-making: for the IGD-TP’s vision to be able to be implemented more extensively in Europe, different countries must be capable of making decisions concerning the implementation of the final disposal.

 

According to the current situation, it seems to be obvious that only three or four countries in Europe will be able to commence final disposal by 2025 as per the vision. Both Finland and Sweden are among these countries. However, IGD-TP also intends to support and encourage other countries to follow the same policy so that the responsibility for nuclear waste maintenance will not be passed on to later generations.

 

Posiva and the Swedish SKB have played significant roles in creating the IGD-TP. Measures aiming to establish IGD-TP were launched in a joint negotiation held in Pori in 2005 between nuclear waste organisations, and these organisations together also created the first version of the vision document presented in Brussels. In future, Posiva and SKB will constitute the core of the established IGD-TP's secretariat, which is responsible for executing TP’s tasks. The first main task will be to prepare a strategic research programme for IGD-TP.


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