The European Repository Development Organisation has been established as a multinational association through which organisations from different European countries are joining forces following more than 10 years of preparation.

Before its establishment, the organisations worked together in the ERDO Working Group, which involved co-operation between eight countries with smaller amounts of radioactive waste. The aim of the ERDO Association is to work together to address the common challenges of safely managing the long-lived radioactive wastes in these countries and to carry out the necessary groundwork to enable the establishment of one or more operational, shared multinational waste management solutions.

Within the association, various European countries are working together on a multinational disposal facility for radioactive waste. With the signing of the articles of association (via ZOOM) by Dansk Dekommissionering (Dekom) from Denmark, Norsk Nukleær Dekommisjonering (NND) from Norway and the Central Organisation for Radioactive Waste (Covra) from the Netherlands, the foundation was established in Vlissingen (Netherlands). Other organisations may later join the association. These include the Agency for Radioactive Waste Management (ARAO) from Slovenia, Bundesministerium für Landwirt-schaft, Regionen und Tourismus from Austria, ENEA from Italy and Fond-NEK from Croatia.

The new foundation allows these organisations to work more closely together on the common challenges in managing radioactive waste safely  by sharing knowledge, carrying out joint projects and promoting multinational solutions internationally. The new foundation is located in Covra’s office in Nieuwdorp. Board members are: Ewoud Verhoef (Netherlands, as President), Ole Kastbjerg Nielsen (Denmark, Vice President) and Håvard Kristiansen (Norway, Treasurer).

All countries in Europe have radioactive waste that has to be managed safely. This involves building deep underground geological repositories – currently recognised as the only safe and secure way to dispose of these wastes without burdening future generations. In addition to working towards a national geological repository, some countries are also exploring the possibility of sharing a multinational repository – employing a dual-track policy.

Over the past decade 11 organisations have worked in the ERDO Working Group on the development of the dual-track policy in Europe. The ERDO Working Group was created in 2009, based on the outcome of SAPIERR projects: these were feasibility studies into multinational disposal in Europe, organised by the Arius Association and funded by the European Commission.