Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


JOPRAD Report Summary

Project ID: 653951

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - JOPRAD (Towards a Joint Programming on Radioactive Waste Disposal)

Reporting period: 2015-06-01 to 2016-11-30

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

Scientific and technical knowledge has been acquired over more than 40 years of geological disposal and has allowed countries to progress towards licensing (Finland, Sweden and France). Research, Development and Demonstration (RD&D) effort at European level will continue to be necessary throughout the lifecycle of geological repository within the field of radioactive waste management (RWM) in order to ensure optimization of management routes and of disposal solutions, and to comply with the Waste Directive obligations. RD&D will also continue to be compulsory to address evolving regulatory concerns. This RD&D must also be maintained and increased throughout the incremental development, operation and closure of disposal facilities in order to ensure innovation, competence maintenance, knowledge management.
The overall aim of the JOPRAD project is to assess the feasibility and prepare for the setting-up for a RD&D Joint Programme (JP) that would bring together all R&D activities in the field of geological disposal of spent fuel and other higher activity radioactive waste, including pre-disposal aspects (treatments, characterisation, conditioning…) and accompanying key horizontal activities (knowledge management, training…).
Setting-up a JP is a step change in European collaboration towards safe radioactive waste disposal through a credible and sustained science and technology programme fostering mutual understanding and trust, and ensuring societal visibility and transparency of research and development.
The added value of the project is that it brings together all R&D actors, i.e actors that are managing, financing and operating RD&D on RWM:
- Waste Management organisations (WMOs),
- Technical support organisations (TSOs)
- Nationally funded Research Entities (REs)

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

During the first period of JOPRAD, the work carried out within WP2 aimed to:
i) Identify and document the actors involved in RD&D on RWM in 28 EU Member States and Switzerland (Ministries, WMO, TSOs and REs);
ii) Contact and inform them about JOPRAD and potential future JP;
iii) Assess their potential interest in participating in JP; and
iv) Engage Member States in the process of moving towards JP.

The WP3 aimed to:
- Identify key aspects of WMOs, TSOs and REs’ research agendas that could be part of a JP at EU level;
- Develop a programme for horizontal activities for RWM ;
- Allow all the parties (including Civil Society) potentially involved in the process to set the conditions of their involvement in a potential JP..

Identification of key aspects of WMOs, TSOs and REs’ research agendas that could be part of a Joint Programme at EU level
Three Working Groups (WG) have been established, and all actors identified within WP2 have been invited to take part in the discussions:
• WMOs’ WG
• TSOs’ WG
• Research Entities’ WG

The objectives of these WGs were to identify what would be the added value of a JP and the boundary conditions from each group’s perspective, identify areas of RD&D suitable for a JP, and identify key aspects of their RD&D needs (including timeframe) that could be included in a JP while maintaining independency between the different actors

Development of a programme for cross-cutting/horizontal activities
WP3 has developed an integrated programme for horizontal activities whose aim is to enable present and future disposal programmes to benefit from the Knowledge generated through past, ongoing and future R&D programmes and activities. Horizontal activitiesare those activities that are of concern to all actors involved in R&D for RWM/geological disposal, but that are not directly R&D (State-of-Knowledge handbook, Education, Training, Guidance, Strategic Studies, Transfer of Knowledge, and Dissemination).

Interactions with Civil Society organizations on the process of building a JP
A group of Civil Society organizations has been established in order to assess the process of joint programming and to identify expectations and views of Civil Society regarding the conditions for setting such a JP and its potential involvement in the governance.

The objective of the WP4 is to produce the Programme Document which will be the scientific and technical basis of the JP.
The work carried out within WP4 during the first 18 months of the project consisted in developing and disseminating a questionnaire. This questionnaire contains a list of RD&D needs potentially suitable for a JP, as identified within WP3. It has been disseminated to all European WMOs, TSOs and REs so that they can comment on all RD&D needs identified by all actors, and add to these where gaps are identified. From this, the objective is to further identify the needs of common interest across all actors and further prioritize RD&D needs and topics which are suitable for a JP.
For each subdomain, respondents have the opportunity to indicate if it is or not suitable for a JP. If suitable they were asked to identify the R&D drivers (Implemented- ; competence maintenance- or prospective- driven) ; as well as potential horizontal and precise timescales of interest – high interest for 2019-2024, or beyond. The analysis of the questionnaires’ responses has started in November.

WP5 aims to:
- Analyze the legal framework for a European Joint Programme :
o Analyzing the legal framework of an EJP: i.e. analyzing how the actors can be involved in an EJP
- and propose governance rules that could be suggested in the Programme Document:
o including committees (e.g. scientific committee, executive board, etc…), ,
o rules of procedures that may ensure a balanced and fair repartition of activities and funding taking into account the respective efforts of each participant of the JP,

WP1 deals with day-to-day management and c

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

During its first phase, JOPRAD project has mobilized the whole community involved in RD&D in radioactive waste management including geological disposal in its three communities: WMOs, TSOs and REs. 17 countries were actively participating to the working groups and contributing to the setting up of the programme. In addition, these 17 countries were represented at the Regional Meeting and 19 in the Mid-Term workshop. This can be seen as a success, since the objective set in JOPRAD proposal was to engage participants from at least 11 countries,
Thus, the target for the inclusiveness of the approach is fully met.
Next step of JOPRAD will consist in developing and finalizing the Programme Document that will be the scientific and technical basis of the Joint Programme. It will address background, benefits and boundary conditions for a JP and provide a clear description of prioritized RD&D activities agreed and supported by the three groups: WMOs, TSOs and REs and taking into account expectation from Civil Society. The methodology that was used within JOPRAD to bring out these domains/topics by respecting balance and inclusiveness principles will also be addressed within this document, as well as a suggestion for governance rules.
Consultation of the draft Programme Document will be organized within the broader European RWM community. A Programme Document Workshop will be held on 4th April 2017 in London, UK in order to obtain feedback and end-user input and take them into account to update the final Programme Document.

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