The committee "Radioactive Waste in Austria - Focus Quantities" is responsible for the determination of the current inventory and prepares a forecast of the radioactive waste that will be produced in Austria by 2045. For further identification and characterization of the inventory, additional data is collected and evaluated, such as volume, radiological, chemical and physical characterization as well as origin of the waste to be stored.
Nuclear Engineering Seibersdorf GmbH (NES) was commissioned to prepare the inventory of radioactive waste in Austria. The inventory includes the amount of primary waste generated per year, the number of containers and the current and predicted total inventory up to 2045.
The report on the "Radioactive Waste Inventory" study was presented by NES at the fifth meeting of the Advisory Board. The study provided a detailed listing of the type and origin of radioactive waste as well as a forecast for waste to be generated in the future.
The Committee will continue to monitor the issue of the quantity of radioactive waste in Austria and will work on the recommendations for the final report.
The work done so far on mandate item 1 serves as a basis for the other mandate items and recommendations.
The committee "Pathway to the Evaluation of Options for the Final Disposal" deals with the mandate point 2 Analysis of Options for the Final Disposal as well as mandate point 4 Development of a Timetable for the Disposal of Radioactive Waste. These two points are closely linked, since the key steps in the process essentially depend on the analysis of disposal options.
The task of the Committee is to develop a methodological approach for the subsequent evaluation of various repository options. For this purpose, it will draw up roadmaps that identify both stakeholders and decision makers. In addition, the Committee recommends structuring the required content and proposes commissioning the necessary reports and studies.
Studies commisioned by the Austrian Board for Radioactive Waste Management at the suggestion of the Committee:
- "Legal Framework for the Disposal of Radioactive Waste" carried out by the University of Linz, Institute for Environmental Law. The study presents the international and European requirements for final disposal as well as the national legal situation. The study was presented at the sixth meeting.
- "Methods for Estimating the Long-Term Behaviour and Dispersion of Radionuclides" conducted by the Institute for Isotope Physics of the University of Vienna and AGES. The study includes the scientific and technical methods of long-term behavior of radioactive material in the repository. The study was presented at the sixth meeting.
- The report "Comparison of Options for Final Repositories" is prepared by the Institute for Applied Ecology, Germany and includes the different available options for repositories. The report is to be presented at the eighth meeting of the Advisory Board.
- The report "Proposal for Safety Criteria and Accident Scenarios" was commissioned to the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences's "Institute for Safety and Risk Sciences", The Technical University of Vienna's "Atomic and Subatomic Physics - TRIGA, Center for Labelling and Isotope Production", Nuclear Engineering Seibersdorf GmbH and AGES. This report makes proposals for the criteria concerning radiological safety as well as safety characteristics of the repository (safety criteria). The report was discussed at the sixth meeting and is still being revised based on the discussions of the Advisory Board.
- "Proposal for Site Selection Criteria" was commissioned mid-June 2023 and is being developed in cooperation with Nuclear Engineering Seibersdorf GmbH, AGES, Montanuniversität Leoben, University of Vienna's "Department of Science and Technology Studies" and the Austrian Institute for Ecology. This study is based on all studies carried out to date, all of which will be incorporated into the site selection criteria. An interim report is to be presented at the eighth meeting of the Austrian Board for Radioactive Waste Management. The report is expected to be completed by the end of 2023.
A dedicated committee has been established for the further development of the timetable and roadmap ("Timetable and Roadmap" committee).
The "Framework for Public Participation" committee develops issues relating to transparency and participation, the population's level of knowledge, and provides the preliminary work for a stakeholder map and key points for public relations and communication about the work of the Advisory Board.
The aim is to develop a participation concept that is taking technical, economic and social aspects into account. It should include recommendations on how and when the population is to be informed, involved and included.
The Environment Agency Austria was commissioned to conduct an exploratory study "Austria and its Radioactive Waste – What you always wanted to know and what we always wanted to ask you". The study will be carried out using qualitative social science methods selected in consultation with the Advisory Board and the "Framework for Public Participation" committee. In order to determine the opinions and level of knowledge of various people in Austria on the subject of radioactive waste, the focus group method was chosen. The results of the study were presented at the seventh meeting.
The findings of the study will be taken into account in the preparation of the participation concept.
As part of mandate item 4 "Development of a Timetable for the Disposal of Radioactive Waste" the Austrian Board for Radioactive Waste Management is tasked with developing a timetable and roadmap for the management of radioactive waste generated in Austria. This strategic plan contains the most important objectives and the associated relevant milestones, key performance indicators and timelines. During the fifth meeting, the Advisory Board decided to set up a "Timetable and Roadmap" committee. This Committee is to finalize and further process the timetable and roadmap prepared by AGES.