Following a safety-oriented, stepwise procedure for geological repository siting, the Nuclear Waste Management Organization of Japan (NUMO) requested in 2021 that the NEA facilitate an independent international review on NUMO’s pre-siting Site Descriptive Model-based safety case. NUMO is responsible for the long-term management of high-level radioactive waste (HLW) and long-lived, low heat-generating radioactive waste (i.e. transuranic or “TRU” wastes) in Japan. This review was conducted to inform stakeholders in a transparent, impartial and open manner; evaluate the maturity and readiness of the generic safety case at a pre-siting stage; and confirm the technical feasibility of deep geological disposal in Japan. The review also develops a framing structure applicable to site selection based on existing national and international legislation and the best practices of other national programmes, and identifies key future challenges.
NEA (2023), The Nuclear Waste Management Organization of Japan’s Pre-siting Safety Case Based on the Site Descriptive Model: An International Peer Review of the NUMO Safety Case, OECD Publishing, Paris
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