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Nuclear decommissioning: the road towards the "green field"

For the Euratom programme, our scientists work on nuclear safety and security.

This work plays a key role in the support of EU policy on nuclear waste management and the safety of nuclear installations.

We have a legal obligation and are committed to protect people and the environment from radiological hazards.

We developed a Decommissioning & Waste Management (D&WM) Programme for all sites of the Joint Research Centre (JRC).

The programme manages shutting down no longer needed JRC's nuclear R&D facilities and radioactive waste management installations.

To protect the environment and people the programme enables us to deactivate our nuclear facilities safely and cost efficient.

We plan this decommissioning of the nuclear installations and site clean-up to the "green field".

"Green field" is a status where no significant radioactive hazard remains.


The activities of the D&WM Programme concern mainly:

  • management of nuclear materials,
  • nuclear facilities decommissioning,
  • management of radioactive waste
  • treatment and temporary storage facilities.

All activities are performed in conformity with current safety and regulatory requirements.

Management of Nuclear Material

The management of nuclear material involves several activities:

  • Characterisation, to know its exact composition and physical/chemical behaviour
  • Treatment and conditioning, to allow for safe transports for the public, the workers and the environment
  • Removal from the Ispra site, whenever possible.

Waste Management

Waste management activities require facilities for

  • characterisation,
  • (pre-)treatment,
  • conditioning and
  • temporary waste storage.

Such facilities are based on technologies that are consolidated in the EU, but not available to the Ispra site. The D&WM programme foresees the construction of such facilities. Waste management facilities will be decommissioned and dismantled at the end of the programme.


All shutdown installations in the Ispra site must be kept in safe conservation, characterised and eventually dismantled, up to the complete removal of any related regulatory constraint.

Horizontal Activities

Horizontal activities provide general support towards the programme implementation.

  • Safe Conservation

Maintaining shutdown nuclear facilities in a state of safe conservation.

  • Routine Waste Management

Activities related to the operation of waste management facilities.

  • Radiation Protection

Radiation protection activities for D&WM-related facilities and general radiation protection services by contractors.

  • D&WM Programme General Support

General activities related to decommissioning and waste management.

Related Content

Communication: Historical liabilities resulting from nuclear activities carried out at the JRC under the Euratom Treaty - Decommissioning of obsolete nuclear installations and waste management

Communication: Decommissioning of Nuclear Installations and Management of Radioactive Waste: Management of Nuclear Liabilities arising out of the Activities of the Joint Research Centre (JRC) carried out under the Euratom Treaty