Abstract

Nuclear energy is a proven low carbon technology that can provide the dispatchable electricity needed to stabilise national grids that have increasing shares of renewables. Other nuclear technologies are applied in medicine, industry and research to provide benefits to both developed and developing countries around the world. The safe and secure disposal of the wastes generated is an essential component of nuclear applications. In particular, geological disposal facilities (GDFs) for radioactive wastes play a key role in ensuring acceptance of the continued and expanded use of nuclear power. They are also a necessity for non-nuclear power nations employing other technologies that produce small quantities of long-lived radioactive wastes. In all waste management programmes, implementing a GDF is a challenging task requiring sensitive stakeholder interactions and significant funding. For small or new programmes, the societal and economic challenges are both large. Multinational repositories (MNRs) - GDFs disposing of radioactive wastes from several countries - can provide a solution. Several national programmes have adopted the MNR concept as part of a so-called 'dual track' approach in their national waste management strategy. An important organisational development is currently underway to establish ERDO as a formal legal entity, the ERDO Association, with dedicated facilities and personnel. By supporting MNR development, we can work towards a world in which all countries can benefit from nuclear technologies, free from safety, security or environmental concerns related to the disposal of their radioactive wastes.

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