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IAEA decommissioning event comes to Wales

The Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) and the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) are pleased to be hosting a five-day multinational event in Wales next week, focusing on the decommissioning of nuclear power stations.

The Sixth Technical Meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) International Project on Completion of Decommissioning (COMDEC) will have a global feel between 20-24 June, with senior representatives from the IAEA and other national regulators from across the world expected to attend.

Established in 2018, the COMDEC project’s aim is to collect, analyse and exchange experiences of decommissioning, clean-up activities and the regulatory controls that are required after nuclear operating activities have ceased.

Dr Tim Marshall, an ONR nuclear safety inspector who is helping to organise the event, said: “It’s a real honour for the UK, and indeed for ONR and the NDA, to have been asked to host this event and we look forward to welcoming colleagues from across the world.

“When nuclear power stations come to the end of their operating life they need to be decommissioned and ensuring this is done safely and securely is vitally important, and one of ONR’s primary areas of focus.

“In the UK we have a number of sites currently being decommissioned with more stations set to cease operating during the next decade.

“Being able to engage with colleagues from across the globe and to share learning, experiences, provide practical advice and identify good practices is extremely beneficial.

“This project not only provides opportunities for ONR to learn from others but will also enable us to share our significant experience of regulating the decommissioning of UK sites with other national regulators, particularly those countries who are about to embark on the decommissioning of a nuclear power station for the first time.”

During the event, delegates will also visit the Magnox Ltd Trawsfynydd Nuclear Power Station, in Gwynedd, Wales.

They will see first-hand the world-leading progress achieved in the decommissioning of the site since it was defuelled in 1997, and which is now actively preparing for reactor dismantling.

The outcomes from the event are expected to help inform the revisions the IAEA plans to make to its safety guide on the ‘Release of Sites from Regulatory Control on Termination of Practices’, which was last updated in 2006.