17 - 20 September 2006,
TOPSEAL 2006: the European Nuclear Society puts the science
and technology driving radioactive waste management under
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
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.
If you are interested in
TopSeal 2006 and wish to be kept informed, please
ask the Conference Secretariat (
) to be included in the digital mailing
list. You can also watch this website for updates.