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Practical Training Course on Planning and Implementation of Nuclear Facility Decommissioning and Remediation of Radioactively-Contaminated Sites

Date: 24 April – 5 May 2017
Location: Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, IL, USA
Language: English

Deadline for Nominations: 10 February 2017


The primary objective of this training course is to provide implementing and regulatory organizations with a global understanding of the key aspects that need to be considered in the course of planning and implementing nuclear facility decommissioning and environmental remediation projects. In line with the overall objectives of TC Project INT-9183, this course will present aspects that can constrain or delay project implementation and discuss potential mechanisms that can assist in overcoming these barriers, with a focus on regulatory and policy aspects, technology, overall human and financial resources, and societal aspects.

Expected Outputs

This course will enable participants to understand the fundamentals of the main activities involved in decommissioning projects and associated enviornmental remediation activities. They will gain an appreciation of the necessary infrastructure that must be put in place to carry out D&ER projects. This overview will enhance their profile and performance in managerial aspects of such projects in the planning and/or implementation stage in their home countries.

Scope and Nature

The course will take place over a two week period, providing:

  • Lectures on key topics related to policy, regulatory, funding, project planning and management, and overall technological/technical aspects including dismantling, decontamination, demolition and site clean-up works of contaminated facilities (land and building structures). Special attention will be paid to stakeholder communication and engagement-related issues.
  • Interactive exercises to allow training course participants to put into practice the key concepts, methods and tools they have been exposed to.

The course will be supported by a wide range of IAEA Safety Standards and NE-Series Reports that are relevant to the topics of Decommissioning and Environmental Remediation. These reports include, but are not restricted to the Radiation Protection and Safety of Radiation Sources: International Basic Safety Standards – General Safety Requirements GSR Part 3 and GRS Part 5, IAEA Safety Guides WS-G-3.1 (environmental remediation) and WS-G-2.4 (decommissioning), and NE-Series Reports on Policy and Strategies for Decommissioning and Enviromnental Remediation.

The CIDER Baseline Project Report NW-T-1.10 will also provide important elements for discussion during the course. Appropriate analytical and project management tools for the implementation and oversight, sound and cost-effective strategies in the fields of decommissioning and environmental remediation will be covered.

The course has been evolving for the last five years. Although its core contents are the same, new elements are added every year and more weight has been continuously given to exercises and demonstration events. The training Modules will be presented using a format based on the proven learning sequence of lecture-, video- and field-observation and discussion. In addition, where applicable, IAEA resource documents such as guides, standards and technical reports will be used to support the lectures.

Over the two-week period the following topics will be addressed:

  • Policies and Strategies on D&ER and Regulatory Framework
  • Project planning, management, cost-estimation and decision-making
  • Site characterization, sampling, and analysis
  • Safety Assessment
  • Stakeholder involvement and risk communication
  • Data management
  • Technology selection and deployment, proven and emerging technologies and materials for environmental remediation and decommissioning
  • Site closure and long term stewardship
  • Other topics specifically of interest to each sub-group

In addition, the course will provide participants with details on IAEA networking opportunities, e.g. via the Environmental Management and Remediation Network (ENVIRONET) and International Decommissioning Network (IDN), their resources, and opportunities for assisting them.

It is anticipated that the course instructors will include staff from US organisations such as the US Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Energy and Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Background Information

Despite the fact that significant progress has been achieved in recent years in terms of implementation of D&ER projects, much remains to be done in terms of addressing the legacies from the early development of nuclear energy. There is a need to improve the implementation of decommissioning and clean-up of nuclear fuel cycle and research facilities, the dismantling of research reactors and the remediation of sites affected by past practices developed without proper consideration of environmental aspects.

Some countries are moving forward with dealing with these legacies, and accordingly have built up appropriate technical resources and expertise. However, many national programmes still face very significant challenges. This course is an excellent opportunity to provide for the transfer of knowledge and experience with the final goal of contributing to build capacity in Member States in such a way that participants will become better equipped to find means to overcome the barriers that prevent the implementation of decommissioning and environmental remediation (D&ER) projects.