Safety Case Symposium 2024: Moving towards the construction of a safe DGR – Getting real

Over the past two decades, the safety case has become a powerful and essential tool to support decision making for every stage of a geological disposal programme. Now, an increasing number of national programmes are advancing towards licencing and the realisation of their deep geological repository (DGR) for high-level radioactive waste. Licensing is a milestone achievement in the evolution and periodic updating of the safety case following an iterative process of research, site characterisation, design development and demonstration, safety assessment and integration, generally spanning over multiple decades. This is accompanied by regulatory reviews and ongoing communication with involved stakeholders. Throughout this process the entire lifecycle of the waste, from its generation to its ultimate disposal, is duly considered. Of particular importance is the embedding of optimisation within the process, so as to achieve the best outcomes for safety, technical feasibility, sustainability, costs and to fulfil stakeholder expectations and requirements. 

This stepwise process follows the holistic approach to waste management and entails, amongst others, the transfer of information between the different stages of waste generation and management, in the form of data, criteria, liabilities, decisions and requirements. The safety case provides the framework for integrating all information relevant to the DGR to support the decisions taken at each stage of this process. The NEA Integration Group for the Safety Case (IGSC) has developed the structure and essential elements of the safety case, such that a conceptual safety case, first developed at the early stages of a programme, can be progressively developed and deployed at later stages of the programme. Safety case digitalisation as well as knowledge preservation and transfer through expert generations are now being recognised as key for the successful iteration and development of the safety case towards DGR implementation.

The maturity of the safety case concept as developed by IGSC and national and international programmes has reached a high level, providing the basis to explore new domains, such as gathering and using experience obtained from already-operating repositories for other types of radioactive waste, including insights on operational issues and waste acceptance, as well as transfering the safety case methodologies to other disposal concepts.

The symposium is now the fourth in a series IGSC has been organising since 2007, in co‑operation with other international organisations. It will provide a forum in which these topics can be addressed, with presentations from programmes at different stages and extensive discussions about the issues raised. Symposium participants will also be informed about the status of new activities of the IGSC 2023-2025 Programme of Work currently under way.


Please find more info about this workshop on the official website of the NEA at the following link: 

From October 8th to October 11th, 2024
Full Days

Mercure Budapest Castle Hill, Budapest (Hungary)
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