IAEA ARTEMIS Missions Ended In Hungary And Romania

Last March, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)  concluded two ARTEMIS (Integrated Review Service for Radioactive Waste and Spent Fuel Management, Decommissioning and Remediation) missions in Romania and Hungary.

ARTEMIS is an integrated expert peer review service for radioactive waste and spent fuel management, decommissioning and remediation programmes.

These missions provide independent expert advice from an international team of specialists convened by the IAEA. The reviews assess the country’s national programme against IAEA Safety Standards and technical guidance as well as international good practices.

The mission was requested by Romania to fulfil its European Union (EU) obligations that require an independent review of EU Member States’ national programmes for the management of radioactive waste and spent fuel.

Anna Clark, IAEA Head of the Waste and Environmental Safety Section, said that Romania is in a good position to continue meeting high standards of safe and responsible management of radioactive waste and spent fuel.

The ARTEMIS review team comprised six experts from Belgium, France, Germany, Poland, Spain and the United Kingdom, supported by three IAEA staff members. The team’s recommendations and suggestions for the safe and sustainable management of radioactive waste in Romania included:

  • ANDR should improve the waste management strategy to take account of the links between the different steps of radioactive waste management, as well as the impact of the anticipated disposal options.
  • ANDR should finalize the plans for involving interested parties, in particular with communities that may host the deep geological disposal site, to ensure that they are properly engaged in the site selection process.
  • The Government should allocate appropriate funding, including for the nuclear safety regulator, to further build and strengthen the capacity to implement the national strategy for radioactive waste management.

The ARTEMIS mission in Hungary was carried out at the request of the national Government and hosted by the Hungarian Atomic Energy Authority (HAEA), which is responsible for nuclear and radiation safety regulation in the country.

The ARTEMIS team highlighted that Hungary has developed and implemented a comprehensive, robust and well-functioning system to maintain and further enhance the safety and effectiveness of spent fuel and radioactive management.

Recommendations and suggestions provided by the ARTEMIS team included:

  • The national policy sets out a sequence of decisions regarding the management of spent fuel but it does not specify when or how the decisions are made. The Government should specify when and on what basis such decisions shall be made.
  • The HAEA should consider completing development of safety regulations for management of very low level waste including disposal.

We are very glad to receive independent international feedback that acknowledges Hungary’s commitment and efforts in the area of spent fuel and radioactive waste management and we are proud of the good practice found by the experts of the Mission,” said Andrea Beatrix Kádár, President of HAEA. “We are committed to continuous improvement. Based on the recommendation and suggestions, we will prepare and implement an action plan that facilitates achieving main goals in this field.