The objective of this action is to reinforce implementation of the scope of activities of the Joint Programming initiative in the field of pre-disposal of radioactive waste. The aim is to cover the management of all radioactive waste categories and streams other than: spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste to which means have been allocated as part of the Euratom Work Programme 2018, topic NFRP 2018-06. Any activity related to pre-treatment during dismantling operations of nuclear facilities is not included in the present topic. Processes or technologies for the treatment and conditioning of long-lived intermediate level waste from reprocessing activities could be included if the process or technology to be developed can be used for other waste and their inclusion result from prioritisation between MSs' programmes.
Actions should primarily aim at developing methods, processes, technologies and demonstrators for the treatment and conditioning of wastes for which no or inadequate solutions are currently available and/or when improvement and innovation to existing ones would bring measurable benefits to several Member States (MSs). Priority should be given to activities aiming at starting common related developments at pan-European level leading to potential future use across a number of MSs. In addition to RD&D, work may include analyses of criteria and parameters and specifications for packages guiding decision-making on the added-value of developing treatment and conditioning technologies and their impact on the design, safety and economics of waste management and disposal. One or several separate activities may be proposed addressing one or more new or existing developments.
The grant(s) under this action will be complementary to the EJP co-fund action under the Euratom Work Programme 2018 – NFRP-6 – European Joint Research Programme in the management and disposal of radioactive waste. The reference founding documents of the EJP[[JOPRAD deliverables D4.4 D5.1 D5.2 D5.4 vision, SRA, roadmap and governance and implementation mechanisms are expected to be updated and adapted jointly with the programme executive body of the EJP to align and share the approaches between the different communities.
Knowledge management activities are expected to be organised to develop and transfer knowledge and competence across MSs' national programmes. These would primarily take the form of training courses and mobility training schemes.
At least 5% of the total action budget must be dedicated to Education and Training activities for PhD students, postdoctoral researchers, and trainees supported through the action. (see Conditions for the Call- Eligibility and admissibility conditions).
The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the Euratom Programme up to EUR 14.0 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.
In Europe, the challenges in the field of radioactive waste management (RWM) include:
- To improve, innovate and develop science and technology for the pre-disposal management of radioactive waste streams and categories for which industrially mature processes currently do not exist or for existing processes which could benefit from improvement and innovation.
- To advance in the integration of research and development between Member States’ national programmes for potential common use of radioactive waste pre-disposal solutions together with addressing the needs of all Member States, including those without nuclear energy, in line with requirements under Directive 2011/70/Euratom.
- To develop and transfer knowledge and competences across Member States' programmes.
In line with the objectives of Directive 2011/70/Euratom, this action should lead within the next decade and across Europe to the availability of treatment and conditioning technologies for radioactive waste streams and categories (other than spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste) arising in all MSs and for which industrially mature processes currently do not exist or improvement and innovation to existing ones with clear impact on waste management and disposal.
Implementation of the action should result in greater cross-fertilisation and interaction between national programmes in this area, the joint development of knowledge and competence and transfer between actors and could eventually lead to the common use of radioactive waste pre-disposal solutions.