NEA Mandates and Structures

Expert Group on Costing for Decommissioning of Nuclear Installations and Legacy Management (EGCDL)

Chair(s): Secretary:  Martin BRANDAUER
Member(s):All NEA member countries
Full participant(s): European Commission
Under the NEA Statute
Observer(s)(International Organisation): International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
By agreement
Date of creation:01 June 2020
End of mandate:31 May 2022

Mandate (Document reference):

Mandate (Document extract):

Extract of document NEA/DLM(2020)5/FINAL


Establishing reliable cost estimates is an essential element of planning for decommissioning and legacy management projects. Quality cost estimates are necessary to ensure that the plans for decommissioning and legacy management projects are economically sound and provide a realistic basis for the decisions on financing for the activities to be undertaken. Quality cost estimates are also essential elements in wider aspects of project oversight, including measures to control costs, meet deadlines and demonstrate attainment of performance targets during project activities.

Building upon the work of the former Decommissioning Cost Estimation Group (DCEG) focused primarily on nuclear power plants, there is a need to accurately calculate and demonstrate the validity of cost estimates for decommissioning and legacy management projects. There is a general trend towards showing greater levels of detail in cost estimates and providing a more explicit representation of the uncertainties bearing upon the final cost of projects. In order to enhance understanding of the estimate and confidence in the results, the analyses and calculations underpinning these provisions need to be traceable, the processes need to be comprehensible, and the estimated output should clearly correlate with the input data. It is thus important to also consider aspects of quality assurance and how these aspects are addressed in an estimate. Cost estimating tools must continually improve to keep pace with evolving good practices, requirements and stakeholder issues.


The EGCDL will address costing issues for decommissioning of nuclear installations and legacy management as a level three expert group.


In order to progress work on the further development of approaches on costing issues, the CDLM has determined to establish an Expert Group on Costing for Decommissioning and Legacy Management (EGCDL). In this context the EGCDL will:

i. foster exchange of information and experience between its members on issues concerned with cost estimation with a view to promoting collective learning and to enhance the credibility, reliability, and auditability of the cost estimation process and thus to enhance stakeholder confidence in the process of managing liabilities;

ii. describe good practices in the field of cost estimation for decommissioning and legacy management projects, including understanding of the risks associated with financial consequences in regards to cost estimating and financing; and planning for uncertainties, with an overall aim to assist member organisations to develop robust and efficient project management processes, and examine the scope for achieving consensus on overall objectives and for developing common approaches;

iii. advise the CDLM on major and emerging issues in the area of cost estimation for decommissioning and legacy management, and provide appraisals of the state of the art with a view to consolidating knowledge and making it transferable to a variety of different audiences;

iv. define, conduct and oversee studies aimed at improving the transparency and reproducibility of cost estimates, including approaches to presentation and reporting estimates;

v. where necessary, organise topical sessions or workshops on specific topics of interest to the expert group and to the CDLM.

Working methods

The mode of operation of the EGCDL is based upon plenary meetings and an ongoing, project-oriented, working programme.

A Bureau consisting of the Chair, one or more Vice-Chairs will coordinate and facilitate the work of the EGCDL. The Bureau would normally meet once or twice a year, with one meeting normally held in conjunction with the annual EGCDL plenary meeting.

Communication within the EGCDL will primarily take place through annual plenary meetings. The plenary meeting will be devoted to:

The EGCDL will report to the Committee on Decommissioning of Nuclear Installations and Legacy Management (CDLM), or to the relevant level two working party should such be created, at the annual meetings of such parent body.

Additionally, the EGCDL: (i) will identify resources and schedules for its activities; (ii) will form task teams to work on specific projects and to organise workshops, as appropriate; and (iii) will review the working programme and the effectiveness of the programme.

In fulfilling its Mandate, the EGCDL will be primarily supported by the staff of the NEA Division of Radioactive Waste Management and Decommissioning.


The EGCDL is a task-oriented expert group. It will aim for a composition which includes a diverse range of experts in the field of cost estimation for decommissioning and legacy management, nominated by the member organisations of the CDLM. This representation will be wide-ranging, including policymakers, regulators, implementers and specialists in decommissioning and legacy management.


The work of the EGCDL is complementary to that of the IAEA and the European Commission, and will provide input relevant to the activities of these institutions, as appropriate.

Through the CDLM and Secretariat, the EGCDL will co-operate with other NEA standing technical committees and their subsidiary bodies when relevant, in particular, those of the Radioactive Waste Management Committee (RWMC), and the Committee for Technical and Economic Studies on Nuclear Development and the Fuel Cycle (NDC). It may also collaborate with the Cooperative Programme on Decommissioning (CPD).


The expert group will produce a report with the support of the Secretariat.