GeoReN awarded framework agreement to support NND

14 November 2022

The Finnish-German-Norwegian consortium Geological Repositories for Norway (GeoReN) has been awarded a framework agreement worth EUR40 million (USD41 million) to support the Norwegian Nuclear Decommissioning (NND) agency in the management of radioactive waste.

Rendering of the surface facilities at the proposed Norwegian repository (Image: GeoReN)

The GeoReN consortium comprises A-Insinöörit Oy (AINS) of Finland, BGE Technology GmbH of Germany, Geological Survey of Finland (GTK), Mitta Oy of Finland, Posiva Solutions Oy of Finland and the Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT). The consortium will receive subcontracting assistance from Rambøll of Norway.

The framework agreement - which will initially run for two years, but it can be extended to a maximum of four years - covers the development of disposal solutions for used nuclear fuel and other radioactive waste streams in Norway. It includes significant technical assistance for NND in the upcoming years, with the GeoReN team as the sole provider of services as a single framework award.

In a joint statement, the partners said: "The winning team has extensive experience in radioactive waste management and geological repository development. The Finnish-German-Norwegian expert team will provide NND with world-renowned expertise in developing long-term, safe, reliable, and cost-effective radioactive waste management concepts and solutions.

"The team represents globally unique expertise in that the disposal concepts and technical support offered are based on concrete experience from several repositories, operational and under construction, encompassing different geologies and concepts, and covering all radioactive waste types and streams from low- and intermediate-level operational, and decommissioning waste to high-level research reactor spent fuel."

"NND is looking forward to cooperating with GeoReN who have a unique track record in developing safe solutions for radioactive waste disposal, thus enhancing stakeholder confidence in our operations,", said NND Chief Technology Officer Nils Bøhmer.

Teemu Laurila, responsible for Mitta's nuclear waste management business, noted that the new framework agreement is a continuation of a framework agreement signed about three years ago, in which Mitta's nuclear waste management experts have been involved in a consortium formed by AINS, BGE and VTT from the beginning. Now the same organisations will continue the work, supplemented by the expertise of GTK, Posiva Solutions and Rambøll.

"Our team is committed to a robust, efficient, and successful disposal programme for Norway, building on our array of experience, and the work our team members have done in recent years to support NND in starting their programme," Laurila said. "We will succeed together, by enabling NND to be an intelligent customer with procuring solutions suited to their needs."

Norway's two research reactors - the nuclear fuel and materials testing reactor at Halden and the JEEP-II neutron scattering facility at Kjeller - were declared permanently shut down in June 2018 and April 2019, respectively.

Established as an agency under the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries in February 2018, NND is responsible for decommissioning the research reactors and other related nuclear infrastructure, as well as the safe handling, storage and disposal of radioactive waste.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News