Sixth International Conference on Geological Repositories (ICGR): Advancing Geological Repositories from Concept to Operation

Spent nuclear fuel repository site, Olkiluoto, Finland. Photo: Kallerna.

 

Introduction

The Sixth International Conference on Geological Repositories (ICGR) will take place in Helsinki, Finland from 4-8 April 2022. The conference itself will take place on 4-7 April, and a site visit to a low- and intermediate-level waste repository with an exhibition on the underground rock characterisation facility (ONKALO) at Olkiluoto, Finland will take place on 8 April. The conference will bring together senior‑level decision makers from countries advancing programmes for deep geological repositories.

The target audience is composed of all stakeholders related to geological repositories, including engineers and scientists in radioactive waste management, implementers, research organisations, regulators, decision makers, responsible government ministries, environmental organisations and the public. International organisations are also invited. University students (Bachelor, Master and PhD students) and young professionals with 0-5 years’ work experience or under 30 years of age are encouraged to register for the Younger Generation Session, as well as to participate in discussions in other sessions.

Objectives

The objectives of the conference are:

  • to take stock of progress made since 2016 in developing and implementing geological repositories for long-lived radioactive waste, and to advance mutual learning through the international forum for the 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 disposal facilities;
  • to identify opportunities to strengthen co-operation for building and maintaining confidence in the geological repository life cycle;
  • to improve involvement of the younger generation in the development and research of geological disposal.
Background

Worldwide consensus exists within the international community that geological repositories provide the necessary long-term safety and security to isolate long-lived waste from the human environment over extended timescales. It is also feasible to construct these repositories using current technologies. However, challenges remain in many countries as regards the technical merits and safety of repositories, including building and maintaining public confidence, availability of skilled staff as well as transfer of information and expertise. The involvement of the younger generation is also often challenging, but crucial for the sustainable development of geological disposals.

Building upon the success of previous conferences held in Denver (1999), Stockholm (2003), Berne (2007), Toronto (2012) and Paris (2016), the sixth ICGR brings together high-level decision makers from responsible government ministries, regulatory bodies, waste management organisations, research institutes and local stakeholders, as well as young professionals and students to review current perspectives of geological repository development. The sixth ICGR on advancing geological repositories from concept to operation is designed to show the significant progress in developing geological repositories over the last two decades by:

  • promoting the sharing of information and experience;
  • discussing various best practices in demonstrating technical reliability;
  • sharing approaches in building human capacity and building stakeholder confidence in the safe construction and operation of long-term geological repositories.
Practical information

Venue

The conference will be held in Sirkus Hall of Paasitorni in Helsinki, Finland.

Hotels near this venue include:

Exhibits

Exhibition booths will be set up for no more than 19 organisations to showcase advancements in technologies and geological repository development. Exhibition booths will remain open during all sessions and breaks. All exhibitors will be provided with one 45 x 120 cm table and 2 chairs. Poster boards are available for the first ten organisations that register. A fee of EUR 6 000 is due for each exhibition booth. The exhibitor fee is EUR 8 000 for each exhibition booth when logos are shown in programmes, totems and other materials. 

Registration

Choose one of the two registration links below:

  • For participants, chairs, speakers and graduate students (Master and PhD students): www.oecd-nea.org/confdb/confdb/conf?id=432
    • A fee of EUR 350 applies (except for graduate students); payment by credit card or bank transfer.
    • Registration and payment deadline for participants, chairs and speakers: 6 March 2022.
    • If Master and PhD students are interested in speaking in Sessions 2-4, they must submit a 300-500 word synthesis of their presentation. Speakers were selected by the NEA Secretariat based on the documents submitted before February 2021. The NEA will cover transportation and accommodation costs of three selected students. 
  • For young professionals only: www.oecd-nea.org/confdb/confdb/conf?id=433
    • A fee of EUR 175 applies; payment by credit card or bank transfer.
  • Interested members of the media should contact press@oecd-nea.org for press arrangements.
Key Dates
  • 28 February 2020 – 1st announcement
  • 30 March 2020 – Registration and exhibition application open
  • 5 February 2021 – End of submission of synthesis of presentations from Master and PhD students
  • 30 November 2021 – End of exhibition application
  • 31 December 2021 – End of submission of biographical forms from Chairs and speakers
  • 31 January 2022 – Issue of final programme
  • 28 February 2022 – End of submission of presentations
  • 6 March 2022 – End of registration
  • 4 – 8 April 2022 – Conference
Organisers and Programme Committee

Organisers

The co-organisers of the conference are the NEA and the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, Finland. The local host is the FinNuclear Association.

The conference is being held in co-operation with the:

Programme Committee

The NEA Secretariat and the Programme Committee are collaborating on conference preparation. Programme Committe members are listed below.

Gianfranco BRUNETTI

EC

Seifallah BEN HADJ HASSINE

EC

Bruce CAIRNS

NDA, UK

Daniel DELORT

Andra, France

Sergey DERYABIN

Rosatom, Russian Federation

Alice DIMA

ANDR, Romania

Roger GARBIL

EC

Jonathan GIOVANNACCI

NEA

Jussi HEINONEN

STUK, Finland

Pascale KÜNZI

BFE, Switzerland

Vladimir LEBEDEV

NEA

Jinfeng LI

NEA

Kamishan MARTIN

NEA

Gerald NIEDER-WESTERMANN

IAEA

Soufiane MEKKI

NEA

Christopher REGAN

NRC, USA

Lelia ROUSSELET

NEA

Lisa SMADJA

NEA

John STEIN

NEA

Rebecca TADESSE

NEA

Hiroyuki UMEKI

NUMO, Japan

Marjut VÄHÄNEN

FinNuclear, Finland