Interested contributors have until 30 April 2023 to submit abstracts for the Conference on the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management, Decommissioning, and Environmental Protection and Remediation 2023, to be hosted in Vienna, Austria, from 6 to 10 November 2023.
The conference will provide a platform for policy makers, regulators, owners and operators of nuclear facilities, as well as representatives from non-governmental organisations and academic institutions, to share views and explore ways in which the application of IAEA safety principles and concepts can support the identification of more sustainable solutions to the management of radioactive waste, decommissioning of nuclear facilities, environmental protection within these processes and remediation of former nuclear facilities, lands affected by accidents and other legacy sites.
The conference will also benefit from the examples and learning on integrating safety and sustainability in practice from other industries, for example using novel approaches, innovative technologies and taking a lifecycle approach.
For the application of nuclear science and technology in medicine, industry, research and energy production to be sustainable, it is essential that its use is safe throughout the entire lifetime of facilities and activities. This includes maintaining high standards of safety during the management of radioactive waste including spent nuclear fuel, environmental protection including control of radioactive releases, the decommissioning of nuclear facilities, and the remediation of contaminated areas.
Safety in these fields is considered as an integral part of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly protecting life on land, life below water and contributing to recycling and reuse of materials, objects and sites. The IAEA supports countries in their efforts to achieve the SDGs through the use of nuclear science and technology to contribute to long term economic, social, and environmental sustainability. The IAEA also helps ensure safety is integrated in a holistic way, including in the policies and the decision-making process, for the achievement of sustainability in these three dimensions. The conference will address the interconnected role of safety with the uses of nuclear science and technology for the implementation of the SDGs in its direct role in the protection of people, societies and the environment.
“Previous IAEA conferences on radioactive waste management, spent fuel management, decommissioning and environmental remediation have addressed aspects of sustainable development, but this will be the first one conceived to address the interrelationship between safety and sustainability, in the context of the main thematic areas that this conference will address,” said Diego Telleria, IAEA radiation protection specialist and the Co-Scientific Secretary of this conference. “Against this backdrop, countries will have an opportunity to explore in an international forum the steps necessary to ensure safety and enable sustainability.”
The conference aims to initiate first steps in exploring the potential synergies between safety and sustainability and will feature experiences and highlight possibilities for advancing the integration of safety and sustainability in the context of managing radioactive waste, decommissioning, environmental protection and remediation of contaminated areas. The main themes will be:
Introducing the overarching concepts of ensuring safety and enabling sustainability
Managing the interrelationships in policy, strategy, legislation, and regulation
Managing the interrelationships between safety and sustainability in decision-making
Integrating the views of society into decision-making considering technical, environmental, social, and economic factors
Practical experiences in integrating safety and sustainability
Building capacity for ensuring safety and enabling sustainability
Regional and international cooperation for ensuring safety and enabling sustainability
All original contributions on these topics are welcome. Those interested in presenting should submit an abstract through the conference’s web-based submission system (IAEA-INDICO).