The planned sessions will cover:
- Substantiating the German Radioactive Waste Management (RWM) Pathway: Time Frames, Technical and Procedural Issues
The topic is meant to provide scientific support for further specifying details of the pathway “final disposal with reversibility” not yet defined in the recommendations by the German “Endlagerkommission”. Examples include timeframes for the several stages (e.g. “monitoring in advance to closure of the repository”), recoverability requirements, or participation issues.
- Experiences in Interdisciplinary Cooperation: Methods, Challenges, Outcome
Scientific cooperation in interdisciplinary research projects is challenging. There are only few books, journals and reports on the subject. The topic focusses on experiences in interdisciplinary cooperation between natural and technical scientists and researchers in social sciences and humanities.
- Technical Barriers in Radioactive Waste Storage and Disposal
All storage and disposal options for radioactive residues need a bundle of reliable technical barriers for all considered time steps. This session addresses scientists and engineers dealing with long term performance prediction and testing, structural analysis or generic design of these barriers.
- Governance & Participation
New Governance with early modes of public participation and integration of stakeholders has been a promising approach in the last decade, especially in contested policy fields. In the case of critical infrastructures like nuclear waste disposal sites the potential for human intrusion and the uncontrolled distribution of radionuclides was scandalized by NGOs, pressure groups of the anti-nukes movement and a number of political parties. Governmental organizations and international institutions were willing to integrate the interested public in decision-making, e.g. in Switzerland, Sweden and in the last years also in Germany. In this section the theoretic and conceptual aspects of governance in nuclear waste management and the embeddedness of conflicts at concretes sites are discussed. Further, experiences with participation in the context of radioactive waste management in specific countries are addressed. Results from interdisciplinary research and also empirical case studies are welcome.
- Governance & Monitoring
Critical infrastructures, which are built to ensure the safety and security of e.g. dangerous wastes, need to be at the center of attention of governmental regulation and authorities. If the protection of human health and the environment as much as the ethical question of a “Good Life” for current society and for future generations are considered a societal aim, the state and its agencies have to build confidence, with the often very concerned public through robust management programs and public dialogue. A screening of the state of the art for long-term monitoring and robust institutions in scientific literature on dangerous wastes showed that plans for technological monitoring, long-term governance and also for public dialogue are not well-prepared. The concepts of reversibility and retrievability render these tasks even more challenging. The aim of this session is to discuss the challenges of and approaches to technical monitoring and long-term governance in an interdisciplinary manner. Scientists from radioactive waste management, spatial planning, political sciences, STS, ethics, technology assessment and engineering with interest on in interdisciplinary research are invited to present their perspectives and results on this topic.
- Ethical and Juridical Challenges in RWM
Both, the political and the scientific debate on RWM are loaded with normative issues. This bisciplinary section is open to papers adressing challenges faced in ethical reflection and juridical enquiry of the legal codifications needed as guidelines storage and disposal.
- Values and Criteria for RWM Strategy Assessment
On which base may a strategy for RWM be called safe, secure, or just? Any feasible argument on RWM-strategies relies on both, scientific criteria and normative values that form principles for evaluation and assessment. This section will stress the theoretical foundations of RWM-research in order to scruntinise, define, and revaluate the principles of its ways and findings.
- Addressing Technical and Societal Risks and Uncertainties
Nearly every issue of radioactive waste management is closely linked to aspects of risk and uncertainties. This session focusses on the management of these aspects - ranging from the safety of technical systems over radiation protection to uncertainties concerning the societal evolution over the next decades.
- Research Needs in Technical and Non-Technical Disciplines — How Good is Good Enough?
The session will collect existing deficits for realization of a disposal strategy, both from the technical viewpoint and concerning procedural challenges. In an open discussion, we will address the question whether one should aim at the best conceivable solution or rather – by a more pragmatic approach – at a solution of “only” adequate safety.
- Education & Training in RWM: Interdisciplinary and Disciplinary Aspects
The session covers disciplinary and interdisciplinary education and vocational training of all topics related to nuclear waste disposal. Presentations on interdisciplinary cooperative projects and national programs from spokespersons or representatives of this topic area are highly welcome. The session shall comprise short topical presentations followed by a panel discussion.
- Geoscientific and Geotechnical Aspects of High-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal
Most nations dealing with the disposal of high-level nuclear waste are aiming for a deep geological repository. The topic is directed at researchers in Geology, Mining and Geotechnics to provide presentations on recent research and scientific results in the field of deep geological disposal.
The sessions are comprising invited and contributed talks, discussion groups and a poster session.
The social programme will comprise a public evening event and a social dinner. There will be opportunity to visit Asse, Morsleben, Konrad, the Bundesanstalt für Geowissenschaften und Rohstoffe (BGR) and the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) on Friday, 29th. Following the international conference there will be a full day event for the public on Saturday, 30th in German language (to be announced).