WM2021 goes virtual

20 January 2021

The 47th annual conference presented by Waste Management Symposia (WMS), will be a fully virtual experience. Taking place March 8 – 12, WM2021 provides an opportunity to celebrate a collective resilience within our industry and the dedication to cultivating stronger connections without boundaries.

Transitioning the face-to-face conference to online makes it possible to broaden the learning opportunities and achieve meaningful collaboration with colleagues around the world.

Since 1974, WMS has held a conference that promotes education, innovation, and collaboration around the world, and will continue to do so at WM2021! Topics include research, development, and operational experience over the complete spectrum of nuclear waste activities. There will also be special sessions on the used fuel management, decontamination & decommissioning, safety, and clean-up of legacy sites, among others.

The theme "Reducing Risk Through Sound Technical Solutions" will be featured throughout panel discussions and technical sessions. The theme for this year’s conference reflects the ongoing mission in many countries to reduce the environmental impact and costs of radioactive waste managed in a safe manner.

What to expect

The conference will open Monday morning at 10:00 EST with the Plenary Session featuring world leaders from government and industry speaking on the issues facing radioactive waste management in 2021 and beyond.

Plenary Speakers are expected to include William "Ike" White, Senior Advisor to the Under Secretary of Science, Senior Advisor for US DOE Environmental Management; Christophe Xerri, Director, Dept. of Nuclear Energy Division of Nuclear Fuel Cycle and Waste Technology, IAEA; and Tom D'Agostino, Government Group President, Fluor Corporation.

Monday will also begin a series of sessions on the COVID-19 pandemic and how the nuclear industry was impacted, reacted, and is progressing during this challenging period. These sessions range from the security at nuclear power plants, to the US DOE End State Contracting program impact, to the impact across the world in their own country’s national programs.

Cleaning up sites in US and Japan
Panels on Tuesday provide the latest update and accomplishments of the Fukushima clean-up, 10 years later and include the DOE clean-up accomplishments at the site Hanford.

Remediation of areas affected by the Fukushima accident
On Wednesday, a third Fukushima panel organized by the IAEA discusses the remediation of the off-site areas affected by the accident.

Update from US Department of Energy on D&D
Thursday afternoon, the DOE site WM and D&D update will be discussed at the annual WM EFCOG working group roundtable. 

Collaboration across borders
Friday will round out the 4 ½ day programme ranging from sessions on the collaboration across the borders to deliver clean-up programmes and address the D&D challenges to panels addressing new opportunities for small businesses and the return after the pandemic.

STEM engagement
WMS is highlighting STEM as an integral part of our overall education mission through a commitment of ongoing STEM engagement to promote technical excellence and the education of future industry leaders. There will be a 3-panel session beginning at 1000 Eastern Standard Time on Thursday, March 11, and STEM Zone virtual booth available all week. The STEM Zone activities will be geared toward Industry partners looking to build STEM programs and partner with schools, Sites and Labs who want to enhance their STEM programs, as well as Educators looking for best practices and innovative ideas.

Save the date for WM2022

WM2022 will take place March 6 – 10, 2022 when the United Kingdom will be the featured country! The 2022 Call for Participation will be released this summer. Visit www.wmsym.org to get involved and share your experience.

Photo: WM2020; this year's event will be a fully virtual experience


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