International Cooperation

The exchange of experience with international partner organisations is of great importance to the ESK and is a prerequisite for providing comprehensive advice to the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU). The ESK meets regularly with the French Groupe permanent d’experts pour les installations destinée au stockage a long terme des déchets radioactifs (GPD) and the Swiss Federal Nuclear Safety Commission (NSC). These meetings provide an opportunity to discuss, among other things, the different national safety concepts, to exchange information about the different waste management situations, and to report on the status of repository projects and relevant research priorities as well as on special events. One ESK member is also a member of the GPD, another ESK member belongs to the Swiss Federal Nuclear Safety Inspectorate (ENSI); this also contributed to the establishment of an intensive exchange of information.

Moreover, some ESK members also participate in the consultations of the “Chairs of National Advisory Bodies to Government” (ABG) initiated by the OECD/NEA with representatives from Germany, France, Great Britain, Japan, Sweden, Switzerland and the USA. Within the framework of the European stress test for nuclear facilities, the ESK continues to participate in meetings of the European Nuclear Safety Regulators Group (ENSREG).

Since the founding of the ESK in 2008, the following meetings have been held:

May 2009 (GPD): in Bure / France, visit to the underground research laboratory in Bure and of the two near-surface repositories in Soulaines and Morvilliers,

May 2009 (KNS): in Braunschweig / Germany, visit to the Konrad mine repository,

May 2010 (GPD): in Karlsruhe / Germany, visit to the Karlsruhe Reprocessing Plant of the WAK Decommissioning and Waste Management Company (WAK), the Karlsruhe Vitrification Facility (VEK) and the Central Decontamination Department (HDB),

September 2012 (GPD): in Cherbourg / France, with visit to the repository for very-low-level radioactive waste Centre de stockage de la Manche (CSM) and facilities of the reprocessing facility of AREVA in La Hague,

April 2013 (KNS): in Delémont / Switzerland, visit to the Mont Terri rock laboratory (the French Commission Nationale d’Evaluation (CNE2) also participated in this meeting),

September 2013 (GPD): Greifswald / Germany,

September 2014 (GPD): Cadarache / France, with visit to the ITER (International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor – international project to build a fusion reactor) under construction and waste management facilities of CEA at the Cadarache research centre,

September 2015 (GPD): in Wolfenbüttel / Germany, visit of the Asse II mine,

December 2015 (KNS): in Darmstadt / Germany,

September 2016 (GPD): in Lyon / France, with a visit to the Bugey I nuclear power plant (under decommissioning),

September 2017 (GPD): in Hildesheim / Germany, with a visit to the Konrad repository mine,

September 2019 (GPD): in Bure / France, with a visit to the underground research laboratory.