Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Framework programme


Previous programme


Official Journal Reference

L 141 of 1992-05-23

Legislative Reference

92/274/Euratom of 1992-04-29
To support the present strategy of the Member States, aiming at the disposal of radioactive waste in geological formations, and to carry out research on management strategies which may lead to diminution of waste arising from future fuel cycle installations.


Part of the third Framework programme for Community activities in the field of research and technological development (1990 to 1994) under subactivity II.5.: "Energy", the programme continues and builds on work carried out in the previous JRC programmes in the field of radioactive waste management.

The hot operation of PETRA (Plant for Evaluating and Testing of Radioactive waste management Alternatives) will be postponed to 1993, pending financial agreements with prospective customers. The activities planned concern campaigns dedicated to the treatment of the reference fuel case (Licensing) and campaigns dedicated to alternative process schemes. Start of the validation of the alternative process schemes is foreseen for 1993, along with campaigns dedicated to waste stream merging and actinide separation (precipitation, solvent extraction) with real fuel materials of high burning.

Future studies on waste characterization will concentrate more or less on spent fuel behaviour under temporary and final storage conditions. They will be pursued in an interplay between experiments and modelling activities.


Two research areas:

- Operation of the PETRA facility (Institute for Safety Technology, Ispra):
To simulate the handling of high-level and medium-level wastes and to devise treatments for waste that are safer and cheaper;

- Characterization of nuclear waste forms (Institute for Transuranium Elements, Karlsruhe):
To characterize vitrified high-level waste forms and unprocessed spent fuel with respect to properties relevant to their behaviour under conditions of long-term storage, and to investigate leaching of waste forms with various leachant compositions.


The Commission, assisted by the Board of Governors of the Joint Research Centre (JRC), is responsible for carrying out the programme by means of the services of the JRC and in parallel with other relevant specific programmes of the third Framework programme (1990-1994).

The programme comprises research and technological development (RTD) projects and accompanying measures. The RTD projects are carried out in collaboration and in concert, whenever feasible, with national research bodies in the Member States, taking into account as far as possible regional development aspects of RTD activities and their potential socio-economic effects. Particular attention will be paid to associations with industry, notably with SMEs, in collaborative schemes around the projects.

The research is carried out by the Institute for Safety Technology (IST) at Ispra and by the Institute for Transuranium Elements (ITE) at Karlsruhe.

The Commission is authorized to negotiate international agreements with third country members of COST, in particular member countries of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) and Central and Eastern European countries, with a view to associating them with the programme. However, no contracting body based outside the Community may benefit from the Community financing granted to the programme. Such a body shall contribute to the general administrative costs.

Research projects open to international cooperation shall include cooperation measures with international research laboratories and make provision for the exchange of researchers. Supplementary measures should allow cooperation with research laboratories and institutions located in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe.

The total funds estimated as necessary for the execution of the JRC's nuclear fission safety programmes (Reactor safety, Safeguards and fissile materials management, Radioactive waste management, and Safety of actinides and the nuclear fuels cycle) amount to ECU 161.37 million, 6% of which may be used for exploratory research. A sum representing 1% of the total JRC budget for 1992- 1994 is reserved as a contribution from the JRC's specific programmes to the centralized action on dissemination and exploitation of results (VALUE II).

Knowledge gained through the realization of the projects will be disseminated by the programme itself as well as by the centralized action.

The Commission shall each year before 31 March present to the European Parliament, the Council and the Economic and Social Committee a report on the implementation of the programme, together with the observations of the Board of Governors. At the end of the programme an evaluation of the research shall be conducted by a group of independent external experts and a report on the evaluation, accompanied by the opinion of the Board of Governors, shall be forwarded to these same bodies.
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