WISARD Group picture

The NEA is preparing to launch an ambitious Joint Project on Waste Integration for Small and Advanced Reactor Designs (WISARD) to examine the back-end implications of innovative nuclear systems in areas such as treatment and recycling, storage, transportation, and disposal, supporting efforts to ensure long-term sustainability. A preparatory phase is underway in 2024 to develop the detailed work scope and the formal legal agreement of the project in collaboration with all the interested parties.

After the WISARD kick-off workshop held in Paris on 25-27 March 2024, the NEA organised a second follow-on workshop in Orlando, Florida, United States, on 6 May 2024. The event brought together over 50 participants from more than 10 countries, both onsite and online. Attendees represented a wide range of organisations including advanced reactor developers, industry professionals, research institutions, waste management organisations, government bodies, and regulators.

This second workshop built on the findings from the kick-off workshop and welcomed input from new interested parties, specifically reactor developers and industry representatives. Participants reviewed the list of possible “front-end cases” for consideration in WISARD defined by front-end and design parameters of interest such as system types, fuels, materials, and fuel cycle options. They discussed priority cases and strategies to combine multiple specific front-end cases into broader “back-end cases” determined by metrics like waste streams and forms. Discussions also focused on data availability for the priority cases and data protection requirements necessary for facilitating data sharing within WISARD. Additionally, the event outlined key questions to address during the upcoming meetings with specific topic experts in the second half of the year to further refine the work scope and programme as well as to inform the associated budget.

The participants stressed the importance of international collaboration in addressing the challenges of the back-end management of small modular reactors and advanced reactors.

See also