Development of Regional and International Solutions for Low Level Radioactive Waste

K.D. Anderson and S. Zoller (Environmental Chemical Corporation)

The Governments of the many Nation States must address the growing concern related to final disposition of the low level radioactive and mid-level radioactive waste (LLRW/MLRW) accumulated through the commercial operation of a nuclear power plants (NPP) and other functions. Current inventory of LLRW/MLRW in many Nation States is nearing or exceeding capacity at interim storage facilities. Efforts to date to resolve the matter and arrive at a long-term resolution to the concern have met with domestic and international resistance. Addressing the matter of the LLRW/MLRW disposal must become a global matter given the pressing safety, security, environmental, and economic concerns impacting the issue. Shared storage and disposal facilities must become the recognized sensible and sustainable options for small-generator and geologically captive nations. However, complex legal, social, environmental, and economic factors will continue to influence formation of multi-national and international interim and long-term disposal options. The purpose of this presentation is to briefly discuss the growing international interest in shared solutions to LLRW/MLRW. Legal ramifications regarding brokering agreements, siting, and transboundary movement of waste materials must be carefully addressed to achieve positive and sustainable solutions. Additionally, contracting parties must carefully consider the ramifications to sovereign rights and external regulatory control or review. In the end, technical professionals must become exposed to this complex global issue that is straining the safety, security, environment, and economy of many Nation States.

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