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Development of a roadmap for decommissioning research aiming at safety improvement, environmental impact minimisation and cost reduction


The aim of the action is to support decommissioning stakeholders in preparing a roadmap/strategy for decommissioning research in the near future. In particular, the action would include: identification of R&I needs and possible funding schemes; identification of innovative techniques and methods; standardised measures and indicators applied to estimated and actual decommissioning costs; sharing of cost information and benchmarking; knowledge management and exchange of best practices; specific workforce planning for dismantling, decommissioning and environmental remediation; harmonisation of safety standards; education and training, etc. All activities to be performed under this action should aim at safety improvement, cost reduction and environmental impact minimisation of dismantling and decommissioning.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the Euratom Programme of between EUR 1.1 and up to a maximum of EUR 1.4 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Decommissioning is currently recognised as a fixed part of nuclear facilities lifecycle which cannot be neglected when developing a roadmap to a sustainable energy future. This also reflects the public interest, as well as the contemporary principle of environmental sustainability related to any industrial activity. Though various dismantling techniques are at the level of industrial maturity, there are still specific challenges regarding achievement of high safety level, efficiency and cost-effectiveness of dismantling operations. Public research has a potential role to play in supporting safety of decommissioning and in reducing environmental impact of decommissioning. To this end, the research should provide solutions for dismantling and decontamination processes and techniques and the standardisation of processes (e.g. waste characterisation, material clearance, site release, disposal of any arising waste, etc.).

A roadmap for decommissioning research will provide guidance to stakeholders and the Commission on the steps needed during the next 10-15 years for the development of knowledge on decommissioning and its safety, economic and environmental aspects. It should support future coordination of R&I efforts, which currently tends to be sporadic and overlapping.