The 6th International Conference on Geological Repositories took place in Helsinki, Finland, from 4 to 8 April. Organised by the Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA). The topic of this year's conference was "Advancing Geological Repositories from Concept to Operation".
The conference, organized under the aegis of the Nuclar Energy Agency (NEA), brought together more than 200 participants on site and a hundred more online to discuss the progress of geological disposal projects around the world and share their experience.
Andra’s delegation , lead by of Pierre-Marie Abadie, CEO, included Frédéric Plas, Director of Cigéo project, Fabrice Puyade, HR Director, Annabelle Quenet, Head of the division communication and dialogue with civil society, Claire Tronel, Director of Safety and Environment Section, Daniel Delort, Head of international Affairs division and Marie Maertens, international cooperation manager
The Cigéo project and the Underground Research laboratory were the subjects of multiple presentations, targetting different angles, such as the technical maturity of project, the challenge of maintaining skills all along the project and on dialogue with civil society.
The conference brought together senior‑level decision makers from countries advancing programmes for deep geological repositories.
The target audience of ICGR was composed of all stakeholders related to geological repositories, including engineers and scientists in radioactive waste management, implementers, research organisations, regulators, decision makers, responsible government ministries, environmental organisations and the public. International organisations are also invited. University students (Bachelor, Master and PhD students) and young professionals with 0-5 years’ work experience or under 30 years of age are encouraged to register for the Younger Generation Session, as well as to participate in discussions in other sessions.
Objectives of the conference were:
- to take stock of progress made since 2016 in developing and implementing geological repositories for long-lived radioactive waste, and to advance mutual learning through the international forum for the exchange of perspectives and experiences;
- to examine the latest issues and challenges encountered by various stakeholders in different developmental stages by sharing experiences among countries developing geological repositories;
- to enhance international co-operation for transforming research results into practical and reliable technologies for the long-term implementation of disposal facilities;
- to identify opportunities to strengthen co-operation for building and maintaining confidence in the geological repository life cycle;
- to improve involvement of the younger generation in the development and research of geological disposal.