• 2nd Petrus-OPERA PhD and Early-Stage Researchers Conference 2016


    Radioactive Waste Management and Disposal

     Date: 27th June at 09.00 – 1st July at 15.00, 2016
    Location: Delft University of Technology – The Netherlands


  • Recordings
    available here:

  • Prize winners

    The following prizes were awarded:

    Best presentation: Biagio Zaffora (CERN)

    Best poster: Anne-Laure Fauchille (University of Poitiers)


  • What are PETRUS and OPERA?

    What is Petrus?

    PETRUS III is a project granted by European Commission within the Euratom program (7th Framework Program), whose objective is to promote Education and Training (E&T) in geological disposal of radioactive waste.


    Since 2005 “PETRUS” initiative coordinates universities, radioactive waste management organisations, training providers and research institutes efforts to develop cooperative approach to E&T in the geological disposal. PETRUS proposes an innovative strategy to ensure the continuation, renewal and improvement of the professional skills by sharing resources from both academia and industries. The Consortium includes twenty one (21) representatives from twelve (12) different countries all over Europe.


    The main objectives of the current project are:

    • Practical implementation of an accredited training program following ECVET principals, leading to a recognized qualification in geological disposal
    • Design and creation of a multidisciplinary training and research framework for PhD students
    • Development of strategies for ensuring the sustainability of the PETRUS initiative.


    What is OPERA?

    OPERA is the third Research Programme for the Geological Disposal of Radioactive Waste (OnderzoeksProgramma Eindberging Radioactief Afval, or OPERA) in the Netherlands. The programme started in 2011 and will run for 5 years. The results of the project will be an evaluation of the existing safety and feasibility studies (the Safety Case) in the Netherlands and a roadmap for future research.


    Know more


  • About the PETRUS-OPERA 2016 conference:

    Following from the successful inaugural PhD conference in radioactive waste management and disposal held in Nancy, France in 2015, the 2nd conference in this series was held in Delft, the Netherlands.


    This unique event brought together PhD students and early-stage researchers, alongside professionals and academics in the topic of radioactive waste management and geological disposal. The conference was designed to be simultaneously a research school and a conference.

  • Programme and presentations

    Monday 27th June


      ----------- Lunch -----------

      Tuesday 28th June

      Field trip

      • Storage facilities at COVRA (Central Organisation for Radioactive Waste) in Vlissingen, the Netherlands

      • The underground research laboratory HADES at SCK•CEN in Mol, Belgium

      Wednesday 29th June

      Short-term behaviour

      • Visits to the Delft nuclear reactor

        ------- Networking Dinner ------

      Thursday 30th June

      Long-term behaviour

      Friday 1st July


    • Field Trips

      Research reactor at the Reactor Institute Delft

      Research reactor at the Reactor Institute Delft

      The Reactor Institute Delft operates the Hoger Onderwijs Reactor (HOR), a 2 MW pool-type research reactor. The reactor is used as a source of neutrons and positrons for research purposes, including those within the OPERA research programme. The reactor also provides neutrons to a variety of facilities for radioisotope production and neutron activation analysis.


      More information can be found here.

      © SCK•CEN

      HADES underground laboratory

      Deep beneath the Belgian Nuclear Research Centre (SCK•CEN) in Mol is a thick layer of clay: the Boom clay. In the search for a solution to the disposal of high-level radioactive waste, SCK•CEN constructed a laboratory 225 metres below the ground. Appropriately this was given the name HADES, the god of the underworld. HADES stands for High Activity Disposal Experimental Site. Via the economic partnership EIG EURIDICE together with NIRAS [the Belgian agency for radioactive waste and enriched fissile materials], SCK•CEN undertakes research in HADES into the feasibility of storing high-level radioactive waste in the deep layers of clay.

      © COVRA

      COVRA – treatment and storage facility

      In order to be able to treat radioactive waste, COVRA has established a treatment and storage facility in the province of Zeeland, at the docks in Vlissingen-Oost in the municipality of Borsele. The total amount of radioactive waste produced over the next hundred years can easily be stored at the COVRA site, which covers an area of about 20 hectares.


      More information can be found here.

    • Proceeding download available here :

    • Contact Form

      For any requirement you may have, please contact Phil Vardon or Denis Bykov, Event coordinators:

    • Partners: