A bid has been launched by the European Commission to create a network of major radioactive waste management organisations across Europe, to boost cooperation on research into the disposal of radioactive waste.
Brussels wants groups from seven European Union (EU) Member States - Belgium, UK, Finland, France, Germany, Spain and Sweden - as well as Switzerland, to join the Net.Excel network. The participants should share research in their underground laboratories, strengthening EU competence in dealing with spent fuel or high-level radwaste. Work will focus on deep underground disposal, with approaches being developed according to geological conditions, the presence of clay, crystalline rocks or salt.
Announcing the initiative, EU research commissioner Philippe Busquin said: "Good progress in this field has already been achieved, but greater cooperation is necessary." He said the plan was a good example of the EU's European Research Area policy, which tries to build networks of research units.
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