TopSeal 2006

Social Programme
Technical Programme



TopSeal 2006

17 - 20 September 2006, Olkiluoto, Finland

ENS TOPSEAL 2006: the European Nuclear Society puts the science and technology driving radioactive waste management under the spotlight

From 17-20 September 2006, over 100 nuclear scientists and engineers from across Europe, Canada, the USA, Japan and Korea converged on the Olkiluoto Information Centre in Finland to attend TOPSEAL 2006. This international topical meeting dedicated to the subject of radioactive waste management was organised by the European Nuclear Society (ENS) in co-operation with the Finnish Nuclear Society (ATS) and the OECD/NEA. The conference was hosted by TVO, Finland’s largest power utility and POSIVA, a daughter company of TVO and the country’s number one radioactive waste management specialist.

The main message that emerged from the conference is that a range of technological solutions exist and are currently being developed and applied across Europe - and beyond - to ensure the safe and efficient long term management of all categories of nuclear waste and spent fuel. Against the background of the nuclear revival, more and more countries are now looking closely at all available options.

The TOPSEAL 2006 agenda centred upon four main sessions devoted respectively to: international perspectives on radioactive waste management; research, development and demonstration of waste storage and disposal; existing experiences with low and intermediate level radioactive waste and deep geological and near surface repositories. The conference concluded with a panel discussion entitled Future Challenges in radioactive Waste Management and a visit of the waste management facilities in Olkiluoto.

Among the many issues discussed by TOPSEAL delegates was EU policy and legislation related to waste management, deep underground repositories, near surface storage, the experimental modelling of safety barriers, radiation shielding and research funding. Research and development programmes, benchmarking and long term strategies in several countries were also presented and discussed at length.

A recurring theme that underpinned the discussions was the need to increase public understanding and acceptance of nuclear waste management options. Recent public opinion polls have shown that more and more European citizens are in favour of nuclear energy – especially on account of its sustainability and environmental credibility as a non-CO2 emitting energy source. Statistics also show that many more people would be in favour of nuclear energy if they knew that nuclear waste is managed safely and effectively. One major challenge for the nuclear community, therefore, is to communicate more effectively to the public how scientific excellence, operating expertise and cutting edge technology can ensure the safe long term management of all radioactive waste.

After the conference, Eero Patrakka, President of POSIVA and Chairman of the TOP SEAL Programme Committee, commented: “Nuclear new build can only happen if there is increased public acceptance that the safe management of radioactive waste is a reality. We, as people responsible for waste management, have a crucial role to play in this respect. I believe that TOPSEAL 2006 has demonstrated that such a prerequisite will be fulfilled.”

As the nuclear revival gathers momentum, the nuclear community is well aware that its continued development is largely dependent upon showing how safe and effective waste disposal and management options are available and are being successfully implemented.

Have a look for the TopSeal 2006 Presentations and the Photo Gallery.

Further information

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