Large volumes of data, information and knowledge are required to carry out the safety analysis for a radioactive waste storage or disposal facility. This analysis is detailed in a safety case, which is a set of evolving documentation, updated throughout the lifecycle of the facility, to demonstrate the safety of that facility. It is important that the safety case remains available and accessible, during planning, construction, operations and closure, and potentially long into the future, for stakeholders to have confidence in the safety of the facility and to support informed decision making.
As the geological disposal programme progresses, the available information will increase in type, detail and volume. This includes information on the disposal system itself, including inventory, engineered barriers and geology, how these work together to ensure safety, and also on the decisions taken throughout the development process, whose rationale must be captured and set into context. Failure to preserve this information introduces the risk of the loss of confidence of regulators, the public or other stakeholders, together with the associated financial and resource cost of re-work.
Information, data and knowledge management (IDKM) considerations concerning the safety case need to be made during its creation. This includes the selection of information and data, metadata tagging, modelling of the relationships between information resources, and approaches to developing and structuring safety case arguments to ensure continued accessibility.
The Working Party on Information, Data and Knowledge Management (WP-IDKM) has decided to establish the Expert Group on a Data and Information Management Strategy for the Safety Case (EGSSC) at its plenary meeting on 10 September 2020. The current mandate is effective from September 2022 to September 2024.
The EGSSC shall carry out the following key tasks and relevant supporting activities: