IAEA collaborates with CNNC on waste disposal
The International Atomic Agency (IAEA) and the Beijing Research Institute of Uranium Geology (BRIUG) of the China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) signed an agreement on Oct 12 designating BRIUG as the "IAEA collaborative center for geological disposal of high-level radioactive waste".
The signing was witnessed by Zhang Kejian, chairman of the China Atomic Energy Authority (CAEA); Deng Ge, secretary-general of CAEA; Gu Jun, president of CNNC and IAEA Director-General Rafael Mariano Grossi through a video conference.
This collaborative center is the first of its kind. It will promote international academic exchanges and increase joint research and talent training in R&D for the geological disposal of high-level radioactive waste, and the designing and building of underground laboratories. This center marks a new milestone in China's technological cooperation with other countries, which will contribute Chinese experiences to the R&D of technologies in this field. It is of great significance for promoting nuclear safety and the sustainable development of nuclear energy.
The safe disposal of high-level radioactive waste is a chief concern for the health and safety of humankind. The CAEA should further strengthen exchanges and cooperation with other countries in geological disposal of high-level radioactive waste, improve related technologies, promote the safe and sustainable development of nuclear energy, and contribute Chinese wisdom and solutions to the building of a community with a shared future for mankind, Zhang said.
The safe disposal of high-level radioactive waste is a major issue that affects environmental protection and the sustainable development of nuclear energy, and is a problem that scientists from all over the world are working together to solve, said Mikhail Chudakov, IAEA deputy director-general.
At present, the internationally accepted solution for the safe management of high-level radioactive waste is geological disposal in a facility several hundred meters underground. China conducts continuous exchanges and cooperation with the IAEA in the site selection, design and construction of underground research laboratories, as well as the development of buffer materials. Because of this, a group of experts in this field was nurtured and China is among the leading countries in the management of radioactive waste, and in the geological disposal of high-level radioactive waste in particular.
In June this year, the Beishan Underground Research Laboratory for the geological disposal of high-level radioactive waste, approved by the CAEA, started construction. The BRIUG is responsible for its design and construction. The laboratory will be the world's largest and most versatile of its kind after completion.
The collaborative center will share China's practice and experience in the geological disposal of high-level radioactive waste and provide platforms for in-depth exchanges among China, the IAEA and other countries by conducting collaborative research, holding international conferences and organizing training and seminars, said Wang Ju, chief designer of the Beishan Underground Research Laboratory and deputy head of the BRIUG.
- China Institute of Atomic Energy
- Nuclear Power Institute of China
- Southwestern Institute of Physics
- China Nuclear Power Operation Technology Corporation, Ltd.
- China Nuclear Power Engineering Co., Ltd.
- China Institute for Radiation Protection
- Beijing Research Institute of Uranium Geology (BRIUG)
- China Institute of Nuclear Industry Strategy (CINIS)
- China Nuclear Mining Science and Technology Corporation