Korean, Finnish waste organisations agree cooperation

29 October 2019

The Korea Radioactive Waste Agency (KORAD) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Finnish waste management company Posiva to exchange technology and know-how related to the disposal of high-level radioactive wastes.

From left to right, Sung-soo Cha, Janna Mokka and Mika Pohjonen (Image: KORAD)

The MoU was signed in Helsinki on 28 October by KORAD CEO Sung-soo Cha, Posiva President Janna Mokka and Posiva Solutions Oy Managing Director Mika Pohjonen.

KORAD is a quasi-governmental organisation that was established in January 2009 as South Korea's national agency for radioactive waste management. It is responsible for the transportation, storage, treatment and disposal of waste, as well as site selection, construction, operation and post-closure management of the waste management facility. It falls under the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.

Through the agreement, KORAD and Posiva will share information and experience on the disposal of high-level waste, as well as holding joint expert meetings and research into the issue.

In 2002, Posiva selected Eurajoki, near the Olkiluoto nuclear power plant in western Finland, as the site for a high-level waste encapsulation plant and repository. The government granted a construction licence for the project in November 2015 and construction work on the repository started a year later. Operation of the repository is expected to begin in 2023.

Cha said: "We will secure the capability to safely manage high-level wastes early by strengthening technology exchanges and cooperation with the leaders in waste management."

In December 2018, KORAD signed a cooperation agreement with Russia's National Operator for Radioactive Waste Management. This provides for the exchange of scientific and technical information, the results of research and development, as well as the legal, social and ethical aspects of the final disposal of radioactive waste.

In August this year, KORAD signed agreements with Canadian Nuclear Laboratories and Canada's Nuclear Waste Management Organisation to cooperate on decommissioning nuclear facilities and radioactive waste management.

Last September, KORAD agreed to extend its existing cooperation and practical arrangements with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). After originally signing a practical agreement with the Vienna-based organisation in 2015, KORAD has expanded international exchanges by sending personnel to the IAEA to train specialists in radioactive waste management and international technology exchange, and to carry out projects related to the disposal of high-level waste.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News