Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


Nuclear science, and technology, European Network of Testing Facilities for the Quality Checking of Radioactive Waste Packages, EN-TRAP

Funded under: FP6-EURATOM


In the early 80's quality assurance policies were introduced in the field of nuclear waste management. Quality assurance was first formally and widely applied in the United States by the Department of Defence, in particular in the Polaris submarine programme. As any other industrial activity, radioactive waste management requires quality assurance. Quality assurance in general is defined as "all planned and systematic actions to provide adequate confidence that the entire system, the processes and the products involved will satisfy given requirements for quality".
More than ten years ago, the European Commission, through its Plan of Action, recognized the importance of a sound QA approach in the field of nuclear waste management. In 1982 the EC Plan of Action created a working group to review the current status of implementation of production standards and quality assurance for radioactive waste in Europe. As a conclusion, it was stated that QA would help to provide confidence in the safe management of radioactive waste. This confidence implies that QA is applied by responsible operators and based upon effective regulation by national authorities. The need for QA in radioactive waste management is also further justified by examples of problems in this field "if QA had been applied properly...". The creation in the early 80¿s of the different national authorities for the management of radioactive waste also helped to establish quality programmes. Reviews on quality assurance requirements and potential implementations for waste packages were also prepared by the International Atomic Energy Agency. In these reviews, considerations on both disposal and conditioning are given.

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