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IGD-TP Symposium and Webinar: The role of optimisation in radioactive waste geological disposal programmes

Symposium: 20-22 September 2022, Webinar: 29 September 2022

SIX ConventionPoint,

Pfingstweidstrasse 110,

8005 Zurich,


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The IGD-TP’s international symposium and webinar on the role of optimisation in geological disposal programmes for radioactive waste was a great success with over 115 attendees from 18 different countries. Our host, Nagra, provided a welcoming environment that facilitated an excellent array of presentations and a great deal of discussion and networking. A brief summary of the scope and objectives is provided here, along with videos of the sessions, and copies of the presentation slides and posters.

Geological disposal projects are first of a kind projects, span several decades, and are multi-billion endeavours.  In order to build and operate repositories safely, to make consistent progress, and to ensure efficiency, optimisation of all aspects plays a critical role and is a continuous activity throughout its implementation.  While safety optimisation is well established, also through international guidelines, optimisation of the implementation of geological disposal has gained increased attention.  This symposium and webinar aimed to summarise the status of the main aspects of repository optimisation from a technical-scientific viewpoint and to discuss future directions.

To enable access and involvement of all interested parties, the event was held in two parts.  The first, physical event, consisted of a two-day meeting in Zurich with sessions on:

  • the role of optimisation in selected national geological disposal programmes
  • technology and material optimisation
  • lessons learned from optimisation in large infrastructure projects
  • integrating optimisation for safety
  • global optimisation approaches – concepts and numerical applications

The third day provided an opportunity for attendees to tour the Mont Terri or Grimsel underground research laboratories, or the ZWILAG interim storage facility (see below for descriptions).

The second part of the event consisted of a live webinar that included a panel discussion and question and answer session.

The event did not take the same format as previous IGD-TP public meetings, as broader radioactive waste research interests such as discussed at our previous exchange forums are now addressed through the work of the EURAD European Joint Programme.

Scientific Committee

Irina Gaus (Nagra, Switzerland) Chair

Ingo Blechschmidt (Nagra, Switzerland)

Johanna Hansen (Posiva, Finland)

Tiina Jalonen (Posiva, Finland)

Axel Liebscher (BGE, Germany)

Jon Martin (NWS, UK)

Maarten Van Geet (ONDRAF/NIRAS, Belgium)

Tamara Baldwin (GSL, UK)

The event programme and abstracts are available here

Symposium: 20-22 September 2022, Zurich, Switzerland

Webinar: 1330-1600 CET, 29 September 2022, Online

To reduce waste we won’t be providing any conference packs, so make sure you access your copy of the programme here.


The posters presented at the Symposium can be viewed here.

The talks presented at the Symposium can be viewed here, as well as videos of each session.

The talks presented at the Webinar can be viewed here.

Practical Information

Further Information

For any queries please contact secretariat@igdtp.eu

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