The Horonobe International Project (HIP)
The Horonobe International Project (HIP) is an international project, as part of the Horonobe URL Project, with the main theme of 'Challenges for Developing Advanced Technologies and Human Resources Towards Long-Term Implementation of Geological Disposal'. The HIP was set up in February 2023 as an NEA* joint project with the participation of currently 11 organisations from Australia, Bulgaria, Germany, Korea, Romania, Taiwan and United Kingdom as well as Japan.
The main objectives of the HIP are to:
- Develop and demonstrate advanced technologies to be used in repository design, operation and closure, and a realistic safety assessment in deep geological disposal; and
- Encourage and train the next generation of engineers and researchers by sharing and transferring a vast amount of knowledge and experience developed to date in relevant organisations worldwide.
In the HIP, our priority should be given to promoting multilateral collaboration on the following three tasks as these are of great interest to many organisations worldwide as recognised during the International Roundtable discussions on the final disposal of high-level radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel in 2019 and 2020**:
- Task A : Solute transport experiment with model testing;
- Task B : Systematic integration of repository technology options; and
- Task C : Full-scale EBS dismantling experiment.
*NEA: OECD Nuclear Energy Agency (https://www.oecd-nea.org/)
**A summary report is available on the NEA website:
In the International Roundtable discussions, it was very much agreed that enhancing international cooperation would be of great importance to maintain and strengthen technological capabilities for the final disposal. Looking towards the long-term effective implementation of a geological disposal project from an international perspective, the technical understanding for the project should be further strengthened by, for example, transforming research and development (R&D) results into practical and reliable technologies and managing temporal uncertainties associated with long-term predictive modelling. To this end, international cooperation utilising underground research laboratories made internationally available should be facilitated as sharing financial and human resources as well as transferring R&D knowledge and experience to the next generation of engineers and researchers would be of much value and benefit.
- 6 September 2023
- The Central Research Institute of Electric Power Industry (CRIEPI) and the Nuclear Waste Management Organization of Japan (NUMO) visited Horonobe URL.
- 18 July 2023
- The State Enterprise Radioactive Waste (SERAW) signed the Agreement.
- 28 June 2023
- The first joint task meeting was held online.
- 28 April 2023
- The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) signed the Agreement.
- 11-12 April 2023
- The first Management Board meeting* was held in Paris, France.
*The meeting information is available on the NEA website: https://oecd-nea.org/jcms/pl_80835/deep-geological-repository-development-to
- 3 April 2023
- The Central Research Institute of Electric Power Industry (CRIEPI), the Nuclear Waste Management Organization of Japan (NUMO) and the Radioactive Waste Management Funding and Research Center (RWMC) signed the Agreement.
- 28 March 2023
- The Bundesgesellschaft für Endlagerung mbH (BGE) signed the Agreement.
- 15 March 2023
- The Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute (KAERI) signed the Agreement.
- 10 February 2023
- The Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) signed the Agreement.
- 8 February 2023
- The Regia Autonomă Tehnologii pentru Energia Nuclear (RATEN) and the Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA) signed the Agreement.
The Agreement on the "OECD Nuclear Energy Agency Horonobe International Project (HIP)" commenced.
- 7 February 2023
- The British Geological Survey (BGS) signed the Agreement.