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Alzenau, 24 June 2015. A NUKEM Technologies GmbH (NUKEM) led international consortium has been successful in securing the first project within Iraq in the field of Nuclear Safety to support the safe disposal of low and intermediate level waste (LILW).

Iraq had a significant nuclear programme in the past. All the nuclear facilities and sites were destroyed in 1991. Following several international initiatives, in 2006 the IAEA launched the Iraq Decommissioning Project (IDP) with the aim to assist Iraq in planning for, and decommissioning of, the damaged nuclear facilities, and manage the resulting radioactive waste, remediating the contaminated sites, as well as drafting the relevant legal and regulatory framework. In 2009 the European Union launched a coordinated effort to contribute to this program. The consortium of NUKEM, DBE TECHNOLOGY GmbH (DBE TEC) and JAVYS a.s., supported by MCM, Healvita Group and MUE Group, will be responsible for delivering the documents necessary for the final siting, licensing, and later construction of a near-surface engineered disposal facility. The repository is intended for accepting all waste from past activities in Iraq, as well as future waste to be produced in the country.

The €1.75M, 3 year project, which is funded and managed by the European Commission (EC), is of strategic importance to Iraq and will involve close liaison and interface with its Government as well as with the relevant decommissioning and radioactive waste management operators and regulators, including the Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST) which is the operator of the nuclear facilities and the Ministry of Environment (MoE) via the Radiation Protection Center, the Iraqi regulatory body.

As communicated by the EC, “This project is of paramount importance in assisting Iraq in planning for and decommissioning of the existing nuclear facilities, radioactive waste management, and remediation of contaminated sites. We welcome this consortium which brings international expertise in this field.” The International Atomic Energy Agency - IAEA endorses this important project.
“This project is a great opportunity for the EC, Iraq and for the consortium to bring together the combined waste management expertise of NUKEM, DBE TEC, JAVYS, and partners, to contribute to Iraq’s decommissioning strategy. We are delighted that our Consortium was chosen in an international tendering procedure to perform this important work” explained Ulf Kutscher, Managing Director of NUKEM Technologies GmbH.