Yearbook of International Environmental Law - Vol. 7

By Günther Handl; Jutta Brunnée et al. | Go to book overview

topic. It discusses the two current options of direct disposal and reprocessing of spent fuel, as well as the actual and planned use of underground repositories in deep geological formations. In addition, issues such as environmental protection, safety assessments, financing, social issues, public concerns, and international cooperation are addressed.

Radioactive waste management was the subject of the fourth "Advanced Training Seminar on Nuclear Law: Legal Aspects of the Safe Management of Radioactive Waste and Decommissioning" jointly organised by the NEA, IAEA and the European Commission, in Cernavoda, Romania, 26-30 August. The seminar, which aimed to strengthen information exchange and international collaboration with the Eastern and Central European countries, specifically focused on regulation of radioactive waste management, radioactive waste disposal and spent fuel, protection of the environment and consultation of the public, transboundary movements of radioactive wastes, and spent fuel, as well as legal and financial aspects of decommissioning.

In June, the IAEA organised an International Symposium on Experience in the Planning anti Operation of Low-Level Waste Disposal Facilities. Its main purpose to was to facilitate the exchange information and experience with respect to the management of low-level radioactive waste in various countries.


(b) Joint NEA/IAEA International Peer Review of Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) Safety

At the beginning of 1996, the US Department of Energy (DOE), the NEA, and the IAEA agreed on a peer review of the long-term safety analysis of the WIPP. The WIPP is a US disposal facility located in the State of New Mexico. The facility is designed to permanently dispose of transuranic radioactive waste generated by defence-related activities in an ancient, stable, rock salt formation. The review, which began in October and was expected to take six months, will examine whether the post-closure assessment of the WIPP is appropriate, technically sound, and in conformity with international standards and practices. To this effect, the NEA and IAEA established a joint secretariat and appointed a group of independent experts primarily from national nuclear regulatory bodies and radioactive waste management agencies.

Amelia de Kageneck
Nathalie Horbach


2. OTHER ENERGY ISSUES

(1) Energy Charter Treaty

Entry into force of the Energy Charter Treaty came closer to reality in 1996. There were seven further ratifications of the Treaty and six of the Energy

-172-

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