The Slovak Nuclear Society (SNUS) recently organized an international conference for professionals involved in all stages of the decommissioning of nuclear facilities (planning, decontamination, dismantling, pre-disposal waste management, waste disposal) and their impact on the environment. The conference was held from June 18 to 20, in Trnava, western Slovakia. The title of the conference was Eastern and Central European Decommissioning (ECED). The main objective of the event was to encourage the exchange of experience and best practices in decommissioning of nuclear facilities in Central and Eastern Europe.
This year 164 participants were registered at the conference desk during three days. The changes in the nuclear decommissioning sector that have taken place recently in Slovakia and Europe were discussed in detail. It was clearly said that decommissioning issues increase their importance and for many European countries this area is crucial for the social acceptance of nuclear by the public.
ECED2013 also touched upon sensitive problems associated with decommissioning activities, such as:
- Financing of back-end cycle
- National decommissioning strategies and programmes
- Long-term fuel storage
- International agreement Europe-wide for a common deep repository
- Specialized education and training issues
- Research, innovations and the application of new technologies
- Public acceptance of decommissioning and rad-waste repositories
For Central and Eastern European countries that sometimes share very similar challenges two initiatives promise to be particularly beneficial for the future:
- According to common experiences from VVER decommissioning – the creation of a master approach and procedures that could be recommended for VVER countries. NPP V-1 can be perhaps be the proper place for verification of these procedures.
- Education, training and proper knowledge management have specific relevance for decommissioning. Based on the training courses that we run at the Slovak University of Technology we would like to create a European Academy for Decommissioning for VVER countries in collaboration with EC and IAEA. Knowledge and decommissioning skills could be shared on an international level. Input from several organisations present here at the conference woud be beneficial. We recommend tthat specific lessons, practical exercises and on-site training be organised at NPP V-1 in Jaslovske Bohunice, in English and in Russian.
We will try to organize ECED here in Trnava on a biennial basis. I am looking forward to seeing you here in 2015.