On August 14, the Korea Radioactive Waste Agency (KORAD) held an announcement ceremony of its new agency name and CI under the slogan, “KORAD considers humanity's coexistence with nature.”
The name change is made in order to get rid of the negative image of the words “radioactive” and “waste” included in the existing name, and to meet residents’ requests in Gyeongju City where a radioactive waste disposal site is located. On June 25, the plenary session of the National Assembly passed a bill to change its name from Korea Radioactive Waste Management Corporation to Korea Radioactive Waste Agency.
The public was invited to make its new name, thus creating KORAD. In a survey of public preferences, 80.7% of people liked the changed name.
KORAD president and CEO Song Myung-jae said, “The government, National Assembly, and Gyeongju residents helped our agency have a new name that matches our vision and value,” adding, “We will contribute to public safety and environmental conservation with the more safe and transparent management of radioactive waste.”
With the announcement of its new name and CI, the agency expects that it will become a positive and eco-friendly organization that represents the region, and that radioactive waste management will have a higher status. KORAD became the first public organization to move its main office to Gyeongju in March 2011, 3 years earlier than originally planned, so as to secure trust regarding radioactive waste management and invigorate local economies.
In July, the agency held a technical conference with ONDRAF/NIRAS, the Belgian National Agency for Radioactive Waste and Enriched Fissile Material. In the conference, Jean-Paul Minon, general manager of ONDRAF/NIRAS, explained the present conditions of short-lived low and intermediate level radioactive waste management, and disposal facility construction in Belgium. The general manager stressed the importance of communication and cooperation with local community, while talking about his experience and expertise in building partnerships with the local community for disposal facilities. In Belgium, the cAt project is under way in Dessel in order to dispose of short-lived low and intermediate level radioactive waste.
KORAD applied for a construction certificate in January 2013. In 2018, the management of the facility will be made possible. Currently, it is moving forward with a construction plan by forging a partnership with the local community in various areas from site selection to design, and review of the construction certificate.
The agency announced on September 22 that the KORAD president and CEO visited the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA). KORAD and NDA signed and exchanged technical cooperation agreements in September 16 for safe management of radioactive waste.
NDA is a non-departmental public body of the United Kingdom created through the Energy Act 2004. The agency is responsible for decommissioning and cleaning-up of civil nuclear facilities, developing low-level radioactive waste strategy and plans, implementing government policy on the long-term management of high-level radioactive waste, and ensuring that all the waste products are safely managed. It also advises the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) on the quality of the operator’s decommissioning plans.
Both sides expect that the exchange of information and experience in radioactive waste management will help move the two organizations closer to its safe and efficient management.
KORAD is pushing forward technical cooperation and exchange activities by signing technical cooperation agreements with agencies in charge of radioactive waste management in Sweden, France, Japan, Switzerland, the US, and Spain.