IRSN, Institut de radioprotection et de sûreté nucléaire

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Scientific Council Opinions

Opinion of November 9, 2006, on the Institute's expert appraisal capabilities and resources concerning the deep, geological disposal of radioactive waste

The IRSN Scientific Council considers that the Institute is perfectly ready to carry out appraisal work in the field of deep, geological disposal of radioactive waste

In its report published on November 9, 2006, the IRSN Scientific Council came to a favorable conclusion on the relevance of the Institute's capabilities and resources regarding the deep, geological disposal of radioactive waste. The Council had decided to focus its attention on this particular topic as part of its continuous assessment of various aspects of the IRSN's scientific activities. In preparation for this assessment, it set up an ad hoc committee -four members including one foreign scientist – which began its work on September 21, 2005.

The Scientific Council stresses in its report that the IRSN's research programs are on target and that the activities it carries out in Tournemire and at the Bure underground laboratory with Andra – the French national radioactive waste management agency –are of genuine significance. Furthermore, the Council draws attention to the need to maintain and develop external collaborative programs to stimulate research around waste disposal issues. It goes on to recommend setting up a review board to enhance the impact of publications on the waste disposal theme and modify research projects accordingly where necessary. Lastly, it advises the IRSN to pay even greater attention to discussions with civil society, which sometimes raises different issues from those of concern to the experts, and can lead to further research activities.

The IRSN's departments have acknowledged these recommendations and will take them into consideration in the current planning of future research programs. The Institute is also taking a particularly close look at the possibility of a thematic scientific board, reflecting the recommendation for a scientific publication review board.


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