The EURAD Roadmap is a representation of a generic radioactive waste management programme that shall enable users and programmes to ‘click-in’, and access existing knowledge and active work or future plans in EURAD and elsewhere. The content is focused on what knowledge, and competencies (including infrastructure) is considered most critical for implementation of RWM, aligned to the EURAD Vision.

Implement a national programme for the management of spent fuel and radioactive waste, covering all types of spent fuel and radioactive waste under its jurisdiction and all stages of spent fuel and radioactive waste management, from generation to disposal

Theme Overview 1 Programme ManagementPDF - 1.1 Mo

Establish national policy and plan for radioactive waste and spent fuel management activities from generation to disposal 

Establish and maintain a national plan for radioactive waste management, including a nuclear fuel cycle strategy (e.g., open or closed cycle) for those countries with, or intending to use, nuclear power

Develop and maintain broad timescales and schedule for implementing radioactive waste management activities using a stepwise decision-making process 

Ensure that public information on radioactive waste and spent fuel and a process for public participation are available 

Establish a process for progressive development and optimization of the plan (safety, security, use of resources)

Establish and maintain a national regulatory and organisational framework for the timely implementation of all steps of spent fuel and radioactive waste management from generation to disposal

Establish and maintain a competent and independent regulatory body and system for licensing 

Establish regulatory criteria for waste management facilities, based on international standards  

Establish and maintain organizational structures or license holder(s) having overall clear responsibility for any activity or facility related to the management of spent fuel and radioactive waste

Implement a system of appropriate oversight, a management system, regulatory inspections, documentation and reporting obligations for radioactive waste and spent fuel management activities

Establish and implement a research, development and demonstration strategy with activities clearly related to timeframes, concepts, plans, and milestones defined in the national programme

Ensure that adequate financial and human resources (core capability and supply chain support) are available, and can be adapted to the changing needs of the programme over many tens of years from generation to disposal

Specify a funding mechanism to ensure that adequate financial resources are available when needed for the implementation of the national radioactive waste programme

Develop and maintain a technical and management skill base within the programme (core capability), meeting national regulatory competence requirements

Use the knowledge, technology and experience gained internationally and co-develop RD+D where possible to improve and consolidate confidence in the scientific and technical data base, to help reduce risks to successful programme implementation and to avoid unnecessary costs

Work collaboratively with delivery and specialist organisations nationally and internationally to obtain value for money

Establish and maintain a national inventory of radioactive wastes 

Develop and maintain an inventory of all spent fuel and radioactive wastes from all sources and activities, together with estimates for future quantities arising, including the characteristics, location, ownership (responsible organisation) and amounts, in accordance with an appropriate classification scheme

Identify and select appropriate disposal routes and concepts for the national radioactive waste inventory 

Identify and evaluate potentially available concepts and technical solutions for spent fuel and radioactive waste management, taking account of national or local conditions, such as available predisposal and storage options, geological environments, national technical and economic resources and expertise etc.

Perform iterative evaluation of options and concepts at each stage of programme development taking account of international technological advances

In conjunction with waste generators, identify and deliver solutions to optimise the management of radioactive waste throughout the predisposal phases of the radioactive waste management programme 

Theme Overview 2 PredisposalPDF - 1.7 Mo

Planning predisposal management of radioactive waste in close cooperation with waste generators

Evaluate waste inventory from generators and existing storage, accounting for future waste generation and evolution

Identify parameters and metrics for waste acceptance criteria through whole life cycle

Assess potential technologies for the implementation phase, considering cost-benefit ratio and availability

Evaluate options to apply the waste hierarchy to minimise waste volumes at higher impact inventory disposal levels

Implementing predisposal management of radioactive waste to support key risk and hazard reduction, and to help reduce costs and save space at interim storage and disposal facilities

Sort, characterise, classify and quantify radioactive waste in accordance with requirements established or approved by the regulatory body

Minimise the quantity and volume of radioactive waste through pre-treatment and treatment 

Stabilise waste by conditioning prior to long-term storage

Package waste accounting for future transport and deposition, and maintain safe interim storage of packages 

Transport radioactive wastes between facilities in accordance with regulatory requirements

Enhancing predisposal operations through iteration with waste generators and repository operators, to develop and deliver safe and cost-effective solutions

Implement quality system and management system to ensure accurate detailed records of waste and package characteristics over their lifetime, from production until deposition

Evaluate potential for improving and optimising implementation phases with new technologies, to improve costs and environmental impact while maintaining safety and accounting for potential accident scenarios

Manage secondary waste streams produced during initial processing, for lifecyle approach

Develop an engineered barrier system, tailored to the characteristics of the waste and compatible with the natural (geological) barrier, that performs its desired functions, for the long-term disposal of radioactive waste

Theme Overview n°3 - Engineered Barrier SystemsPDF - 1.8 Mo

Confirm wasteform compositions, properties and behaviour under storage and disposal conditions, including radionuclide immobilisation and impact on the disposal environment

Cemented long-lived intermediate level waste 

Identify container materials and designs for each wasteform under storage and disposal conditions and confirm properties, behaviour and evolution under storage and disposal conditions 

LL-ILW Containers 

Identify appropriate buffer, backfill and seal/plug materials and designs, and confirm their properties, behaviour and evolution for the selected repository concept

Buffer components under storage and disposal conditions 

Backfill components under storage and disposal conditions 

Plug and sealing components under storage and disposal conditions 

Confirm integrated EBS system understanding and identify compatible EBS designs and materials for facilities containing multiple wasteforms  

Confirm complete and integrated EBS system understanding, including the design of an optimized interface EBS/repository and the understanding of the interaction with the repository nearfield environment

Confirm that interactions between different EBS materials in disposal areas for different waste types do not compromise the performance of the disposal system

Assemble geological information for site selection, facility design and demonstration of safety 

Theme Overview 4 GeosciencePDF - 1.5 Mo

Provide, or confirm a description of the natural barrier system and how it contributes to high level safety objectives 

Develop a model of the host rock and surrounding geological environment, including distributions of rock types, geometry and properties of structural features, geotechnical properties and the hydrogeological and hydrogeochemical environment    

Describe bedrock transport properties (aqueous and gas transport, advection/disperson, diffusion) including retention (sorption, matrix diffusion) of different materials

Characterize or confirm surface ecosystem properties and their potential evolution in the future

Characterize the potential impact of disposal facility construction, operation and closure on the natural geological barrier

Characterize or confirm the chemical, hydrogeological, geomechanical, thermal, geomicrobiological, gaseous and radiation-induced perturbations which may be caused by facility construction, operations or closure and their impacts on long-term disposal system evolution

Provide, or confirm a description of the expected evolution of the geosphere (including the repository) in response to natural processes and future human actions

Assess the expected geological and tectonic evolution and the potential for natural disruptive events and their impacts on the stability of the natural barrier

Assess the nature of future climate change and landscape evolution and its potential impacts on THMC conditions in the repository host rock (including the repository) and surrounding formations 

Assess the effects of future human actions (human intrusion by exploration activities, exploitation of natural resources within, above and below the host rock)

Provide a geoscientific synthesis (Geosynthesis) with geoscientific key information with respect to long-term safety and repository concepts (layout and construction)

Provide commented tables with key data, key figures (conceptual models) and comments on the interrelationships of site characteristics, perturbations and long-term evolution (stability). This report should contain the so-called Geo-Datasets for long-term safety analyses and repository concepts (layout and construction) for each licensing phase.

Design a facility that fulfils safety and security requirements and that can be practicably constructed, operated and closed 


Theme Overview 5 Disposal facility design and optimisationPDF - 2 Mo

Design and develop a disposal system for the national radioactive waste inventory

Based on regulatory requirements, safety criteria, and a high-level safety strategy, establish a transparent procedure finally leading to design requirements for the preferred concept option

Based on the design requirements, perform layout calculations to define detailed specifications for the design of the underground facilities

Based on the design requirements and safety assessments, define detailed specifications for the design of the geotechnical barrier system

Develop and establish qualification procedures, especially with regard to manufacturing and testing requirements, as well as safety demonstration concepts to confirm that structures, systems and components will perform their allocated safety function(s) in all normal operational, fault and accident conditions identified in the safety case and for the duration of their operational lives 

Demonstrate and verify that facility components and barriers can be practically manufactured, constructed and installed in accordance with detailed design requirements and specifications 

Develop, adapt and/or buy the technology and systems required to be able to construct and then commission the facility  

Perform a continuous balancing exercise with requirements and technical solutions to balance the risks among the different barriers. Keeping in mind that there is no such endeavour with zero risk, determine which risks can be (reasonably) taken and which cannot be. Any balancing need to include a cost assessment

Establish reliable manufacturing routes to produce facility barriers and components, and inspections plans for how to test for unacceptable defects, and overall quality assurance against specified design tolerances and industry standards

Utilise available robotics and remote handling technology - all reliably tested beforehand - to optimise facility construction and operations   

As a supplement to in-situ testing (cf. 5.2.1) consider simulating facility operations by using remote technologies and models to predict the most important variables of the disposal system implementation processes 

Prevent theft of nuclear material or sabotage of nuclear facilities and protect sensitive technology, software and information 

Establish arrangements to ensure that no nuclear material leaves the system and to ensure effective nuclear materials accountancy during transport, operations and closure of the facility, and that such information is suitable for transfer to a future facility operator

Design and provide physical security measures to ensure compliance with regulatory security arrangements for transport and disposal of radioactive materials

Develop and maintain operational safety case to demonstrate that the construction, operation and closure of the disposal facility will meet safety standards and be robust against potential faults such that the associated risks are restricted to levels that are as low as reasonably practicable

Identify construction hazards or risks, and implement measures to eliminate these or provide a means of preventing the outcome, protecting those affected and reducing the consequences 

Identify operational hazards or risks, and implement measures to eliminate these or provide a means of preventing the outcome, protecting those affected and reducing the consequences

Perform design basis accident analysis and optimise with mitigation options for risk reduction for identified faults      

Demonstrate criticality safety during operations and determine the likelihood and impact of criticality in the long-term    

Establish and implement an overall plan for meeting with national requirements for monitoring, and if required, reversibility and/or retrievability requirements

Establish plans and methods for implementing baseline environmental monitoring programme ready for the start of site characterisation  

Establish plans and methods for implementing a monitoring program to be performed during site investigation, construction and operational phases of the repository

Establish technical feasibility of waste reversal after emplacement and potential waste retrieval after operation and if required, demonstrate in full-scale representative conditions before the start of operations

Demonstrate to regulators (and other stakeholders, incl. the public) that a properly sited disposal facility will protect people and the environment at the time of disposal and in the very long term, following closure (Siting and +B90 licensing)

Theme Overview 6 Siting and LicensingPDF - 410.1 Ko

Establish and implement an overall plan for the site selection process, and identify potential geological environments using available data   

Identify key decision points, and develop screening guidelines to enable a facility to be located to match national performance criteria and socio-economic, political and environmental considerations

Identify areas that may contain suitable sites by using the developed screening guidelines  

Investigate one of more sites to demonstrate that they would be suitable from the safety and other viewpoints 

Initiate a site(s) investigation programme to obtain sufficient data to give strong assurance that the site(s) is/are likely to be suitable, based on a preliminary Safety assessment, and whether the final stage of site confirmation would be likely to result in a license application

Undertake detailed site(s) investigation, confirmation of the site, through a complete safety assessment, and preparation of an environmental impact assessment to the level required for construction and operational license application submission 

Obtain the necessary land use permits and nuclear licences to start implementation of the disposal facility

Engage effectively with local government / regulators / consultative bodies / waste generators and the local population by providing open access to information to meet land use planning requirements

Adhere to the licensing process set by national legislation and regulatory bodies (for nuclear installations) and meet the requirements relating to facility authorization 

Iteratively quantify and demonstrate, the safety of the disposal system and inform strategic design decisions 

Theme Overview 7 Safety CasePDF - 1013.2 Ko

Establish the safety fundamentals as a basis for the safety assessment 

Establish the requirements that must be met to ensure the protection of people and the environment, both now and in the future 

Establish safety indicators to complement dose and risk, defined relative to overall safety requirements 

Combine experimental and field data with scientific understanding and qualitative observations to construct models of the possible future behaviour of the disposal system

Maintain and develop a synthesis of all available information relevant to facility safety, required for regulatory compliance, and to guide forward disposal programme activities 

Establish a system and adopt international good practice for information, data and knowledge management, modelling, transfer, and preservation 

Assess radiation risks and assure adequacy and quality of all the safety related work associated with the facility or activity  

Quantify how the facility and its components behave and evolve to provide continuing safety 

Characterise uncertainties and determine their implications for the outcome of the safety assessment 

Evaluate post-closure features, events and processes relevant to safety to create plausible scenarios of disposal system behaviour 

EURAD has developed a guide that recognises the pivotal role of the EURAD Roadmap in structuring its work and in navigating knowledge, information and data that already exists in the field of RWM


It shows the role and relevance of the different themes for waste management and disposal programmes at different stages of implementation. The Roadmap effectively provides a framework upon which to organise the scientific priorities of EURAD SRA, enabling users and programmes to ‘click-in’, and to access existing information and knowledge and active work or future plans. For each of the phases, the Roadmap explains how e.g. the aspects related to disposal facility design and safety case development (and supporting safety analyses) span across all phases. The Roadmap elaborates further on the how the emphasis of work on each of the themes differs and changes through successive Phases.

The Roadmap also provides a framework for future periodic assessment of the Joint Programme, and to evaluate future priorities as new knowledge is acquired or as new needs are identified, and to communicate completed, ongoing and future work activities to those interested in our work.