Interdisciplinary research symposium on the safety of nuclear disposal practices: Call for contributions
Nuclear disposal is a challenge for generations. Research focusing on the safety of responsible nuclear disposal practices represents a challenge that no single scientific discipline is able to solve alone. Therefore, BASE is organizing for the first time an interdisciplinary research symposium on the safety of nuclear disposal practices, which will take place on November 10 – 12, 2021. The symposium is an invitation to all scientists to present and discuss the results of their research related to the safety of nuclear disposal, allowing for both an intensive disciplinary focus as well as a more comprehensive interdisciplinary exchange.
Nuclear disposal is a challenge for generations. Research focusing on the safety of responsible nuclear disposal practices represents a challenge that no single scientific discipline is able to solve alone. Therefore, BASE is organizing for the first time an interdisciplinary research symposium on the safety of nuclear disposal practices, which will take place on November 10 – 12, 2021. The intention of the symposium is to provide a platform for scientific discussion and for the presentation of novel scientific research results, which will contribute to ensuring the best safety standards possible for nuclear disposal practices. The symposium is an invitation to all scientists to present and discuss the results of their research related to the safety of nuclear disposal, allowing for both an intensive disciplinary focus as well as a more comprehensive interdisciplinary exchange.
The symposium will include research work within the entire field of nuclear disposal: ranging from the decommissioning of nuclear facilities to storing and conditioning radioactive waste and disposing of it at great depths underground. The interdisciplinary symposium will span from technical questions to other themes like public participation in nuclear disposal projects, the culture of safety management and risk communication. The symposium will also focus on both the fundamental and the practical aspects of safety.
The target audience for the symposium includes both German and international scientists. Early career scientists, in particular, will be given an opportunity to present and discuss their work. The symposium will be held as both an on-site and a virtual event, enabling participants to choose between attendance at the conference venue and online participation. All workshops, talks, poster presentations and discussion forums will be streamed via the BASE online platform simultaneously with the on-site event. Simultaneous translation of the symposium workshops and sessions into both English and German will be provided for all on-site and online participants.
Decommissioning of nuclear facilities
This topic includes questions concerning best practice standards for decommissioning of nuclear facilities. Moreover, the minimization of radiation exposure and of the emission of radioactive materials from nuclear facilities can be discussed here. Questions related to physical and digital tools available for dismantling operations are part of this topic.
Storage and transport of radioactive waste
Here the big questions encompass the area of safety in the light of prolonged interim storage, including the safety of transport after a prolonged interim storage time. Moreover, best practices in knowledge management may be discussed and the aging management of technical components, including related safety aspects, will be addressed.
Disposing of high-level as well as low- and intermediate-level radioactive waste
This topic addresses all questions related to what approaches are available for waste conditioning, operational safety, construction and closure, long-term monitoring and waste package recoverability with regard to deep geological disposal.
Selecting a disposal site
This topic focuses on the wide spectrum of experiences made in both the German and international contexts during the search for safe disposal sites. Best practice examples of the search for the safest possible repository location may be discussed as well as methodical approaches in the long-term safety analysis.
Participation processes for projects involving nuclear safety and disposal
Participation by experts, stakeholders and the interested public is crucial to improve the quality of the results, the transparency, the legitimacy and the effectiveness of nuclear safety and disposal programs. This symposium topic will discuss empirical evidence and conceptual frameworks relevant for designing successful participatory processes. The exchange of experience from fields of application other than nuclear safety and waste disposal will also be considered.
Communications and safety culture related to nuclear disposal
The communication of safety aspects and risks between stakeholders and the public is of central importance for the entire scope of nuclear waste disposal – from dismantling to final disposal. As part of this process, issues related to the practical use of the knowledge of public participants or stakeholders as a tool in the search for the safest possible repository site and concept will be discussed. Also included will be questions related to the safety culture within and among the stakeholders involved. Finally, issues of long-term documentation and knowledge transfer for future generations will be discussed in this focus area.
Socio-technical and legal aspects of nuclear disposal
This focus area is concentrated, firstly, on overarching sociotechnical issues with regard to nuclear waste disposal. This also includes historical analyses. Secondly, legal issues and relevant legal frameworks that support strategies for safe nuclear disposal will be considered.
Simultaneously with the workshops and sessions, barcamps can be organized by the participants. A barcamp is a particular kind of session or workshop. It is a very open, self-organizing forum. Participants who see the need for open discussions outside the scope of the “regular” workshops and/or sessions can meet for discussions with others interested in the same topic during the symposium. The only rule for the barcamp: each barcamp participant should contribute to the discussion. The individual barcamps may be started with a keynote speech by the initiator. Barcamps can be announced at the beginning of the individual symposium days during the plenary keynote session.
Call for Papers
We herewith invite you to submit the abstracts for your planned oral or poster presentations. Sessions will be scheduled and planned based on the session proposals we receive (for details, see next section) as well as the number of contributions we receive for individual subjects within the topics. Please indicate on the abstract which topic your contribution should be assigned to.
Guidelines for oral presentations
Oral presentations should not exceed 15 min (plus 5 min discussion). Invited speakers may, however, use twice the standard oral presentation time. Presentations should be prepared either with PowerPoint, Impress or as PDF. Video projectors will be available on-site. Given the hybrid format of the symposium, presentations held by online participants will be possible as well. Presentations may be held in either English or German.
Guidelines for poster presentations
Printed posters presented on-site should have A0 (portrait) format (84 cm wide and 119 cm high). Digitally presented posters should be presented as PDF. Presenting authors should be present at their poster boards (or their digital poster booth, respectively) during their poster sessions. Pins and tape for fixing the (analogue) posters will be available at the information desk. Posters may be presented in either English or German.
Guidelines for abstracts
Both for workshops and conference sessions (for details of both, see below), abstracts of oral and poster presentations may be submitted in English or German and will be published in the official conference proceedings. Abstracts should not be longer than one A4 page (700 words) and can include one figure
and one table. The deadline for abstract submission is June 16, 2021. Please read carefully the instructions for authors, available at the symposium website. Upload your abstract directly here: https://base.meetingmasters.de/InterdisciplinaryResearchSymposium
Call for Sessions
The specific sessions will be defined within the context of the symposium topics once all abstracts (oral and poster) and session proposals have been received and processed. We herewith invite you to submit session proposals, if possible including information on whether you are willing to act as the chairperson for the respective poster and/or oral presentation session. The deadline for submission of session proposals is May 17, 2021.
Session proposals may be submitted in either English or German. Upload your session proposal directly here: https://base.meetingmasters.de/InterdisciplinaryResearchSymposium
Call for Workshops
During the symposium, workshops will be organized that will serve as panels to allow more extended, open and interdisciplinary discussions. These workshops will each be opened by an introductory talk of 15 min length covering the background, challenges and motivation regarding the theme. This will be followed by several 5 min presentations and then the floor will be opened for discussion. We encourage you to submit your workshop suggestions, if possible identifying a workshop chairperson and providing a time schedule and content summary. The deadline for workshop suggestions is May 17, 2021.
Workshop suggestions may be in either English or German. Upload your workshop suggestions directly here: https://base.meetingmasters.de/InterdisciplinaryResearchSymposium
Although at this stage registration is not yet mandatory, please use the registration tool here:
On-site participants will be required to pay a conference fee, which will be directly used to cover catering and reasonably low administrative costs. There will be a waiving option on the conference fee for early career scientists.
Submission of session proposals and workshop suggestions May 17, 2021
Abstract submission for paper contributions June 16, 2021
Registration September 3, 2021
Website and Symposium Office
Additional and regularly updated information about SafeND is available at