Previous events

Details of our previous events are shown below.


RWM RSO Virtual Launch Meeting

16 – 18 September 2020

In September 2020 we held our Launch event for the Radioactive Waste Management Research Support Office (RWM RSO). 

Event summary

The RWM Research Support Office successfully launched online over 16-18 September. Over 130 people across academia, industry, funders and regulators joined us across the lively 3-day event. The majority of attendees were from academia, with over 10 UK universities represented. We also welcomed delegates from NDA, RWM, UKRI and other relevant organisations. It was fantastic to have such a broad community presence and we look forward to building on this solid start over the coming years.

“We were delighted to meet our colleagues, share examples of RWM relevant research from leading researchers, and explain the opportunities the RSO will offer with the PhD Studentship Scheme and the Gas workshops generating lots of interest and engagement. We look forward to the next steps and working with our community to identify, support and deliver new, underpinning and GDF relevant research in the UK.” Katherine Morris, RSO Director.

The opening day introduced the RSO and RWM through presentations from director Katherine Morris, RWM RSO lead Lucy Bailey, and Sheffield RSO lead Neil Hyatt. There was also a presentation on the RWM siting process from Jon Martin and two dynamic Q & A sessions. The feedback and engagement from the community is hugely appreciated and it will be an essential input to shaping our future activities.

The second day began with the launch of the first annual RSO PhD call by Manchester RSO lead, Sam Shaw. This stimulated a lot of useful contributions that will be used to inform and improve the first annual call intended to launch in autumn 2020. The rest of day two included three presentations from leading researchers Ian Farnan, Rebecca Lunn and Tom Scott sharing their technical understanding and, as importantly, how they built their working relationship with RWM. We then finished with an invited plenary from Allan Hedin from SKB who gave a fantastic overview of the history and future of the programme for spent nuclear fuel in Sweden.

The final day of the launch was an experimental online based research proposal development workshop focussing on “Gas generation, migration and reactivity in radioactive waste disposal”. Simon Norris (RWM) provided the technical background for the day. Participants split into four groups, based on the areas of interest that they had declared on registration. These topics were:

  • Gas Generation: Inorganic Processes
  • Gas Generation: Organic/Bio
  • Gas Migration and Reactivity: EBS System
  • Gas Migration and Reactivity: Geosphere/Biosphere

Each topic group had both an RSO academic and RWM expert facilitating discussions and completed a standardised form based on their research inputs. These were fruitful discussions providing useful content for RWM with the advice of the RSO to take forwards and develop into a funding call. Coordinating such a workshop over zoom was a novel experience for us. Despite technical worries, everything ran smoothly and the workshop discussions were worthwhile and insightful and feedback was on the whole very positive.

“It was exciting to see (albeit online) so many experts engaging with the RSO and sharing ideas that will help us shape our forthcoming research call.  This workshop was the first of its kind and exceeded our expectations in terms of number of participants and level of engagement.  A huge thank you to all involved.”  Lucy Bailey, Head of Research Support Office, RWM

We have a feedback survey that remained open for a week after the event to gather views on the RSO and the workshop element. This feedback will be taken on board to improve future events and the RSO. Slides from the three days are available on the website, just scroll down to “Programme agenda and slides”.

The RSO represents a significant investment in GDF research in the UK that will create many opportunities over the next five years and is a unique endeavour amongst WMOs in Europe. We look forwards to building on the fantastic amount of community interest we have received so far.

Programme Agenda and Slides

Day 1 – 16 September

09.30 am – Zoom waiting room open prior to conference

10.00 am – Welcome – Professor Katherine Morris (RWM RSO and The University of Manchester) Slides (PDF)

10.15am – RWM aim and mission – Lucy Bailey (RWM) Slides (PDF)

10.40 am – Introduction to the RWM Research Support Office– Prof Neil Hyatt (RWM RSO and University of Sheffield) Slides (PDF)

11.10 am – Questions to RSO/RWM panel (Lucy Bailey, Katherine Morris, Neil Hyatt)

11.40 am – Break

12.00 am – RWM siting process and research programme – Dr Jon Martin (RWM) Slides (PDF)

12.30 pm – Community discussion and feedback

01.00 pm – Close Day 1

Day 2 – 17 September

09.30 am – Zoom waiting room open prior to conference

10.00 am – Launch of RWM RSO 2021 PhD Project Fund – Prof Sam Shaw (The University of Manchester) Slides (PDF)

10.15 am – Questions

10.25 am – Research presentations from current RWM-funded projects:
The Effect of Compositional Differences on UK Radioactive Glass Durability” – Prof Ian Farnan (University of Cambridge) Slides (PDF)
Organic Fingerprinting of Groundwater to Determine Surface Water Origins” – Prof Rebecca Lunn (University of Strathclyde) Slides (PDF)
In-situ analysis techniques to understand the behaviour of waste and backfill materials in a GDF environment” – Prof Tom Scott (University of Bristol) Slides (PDF)

11.25 am – Panel questions and discussion

11.35 am – Break

11.45 am – Plenary:
Interplay between research and safety assessment in the Swedish programme for spent nuclear fuel” – Dr Allan Hedin (Manager of Safety Assessments at SKB, Sweden) Slides (PDF)

12:30 pm – Questions and discussion

12:45 pm – Close Day 2

Day 3 – 18 September – Research Topic meetings

Research proposal development workshop: “Gas Generation, Migration and Reactivity in Radioactive Waste Disposal

The day will include breakout sessions of smaller groups to develop particular research topics and proposal strategies along the following 4 themes:

  • Gas Generation: Inorganic Processes
  • Gas Generation: Organic/Bio
  • Gas Migration and Reactivity: EBS System
  • Gas Migration and Reactivity: Geosphere/Biosphere

09.20 am – Zoom waiting room open prior to conference

09.30 am – Opening remarks – Professor Katherine Morris (RWM RSO and The University of Manchester) & Lucy Bailey (RWM)

09.35 am – Plenary: Technical Introduction to Workshop Sessions – Dr Simon Norris (RWM) Slides (PDF)

09.55 am – Plenary: Workshop plans and outputs – Professor Katherine Morris (RWM RSO and The University of Manchester)

10.00 am – Breakout Session A – join first breakout group

10.05 am – Workshop Session A

11.20 am – Break

11.30 am – Join second breakout group

11.30 am – Breakout Session B

12.40 pm – Break

01.00 pm – Plenary: Way forward and next steps – Dr Simon Norris (RWM)

01.10 pm – Plenary: Reflection and closing remarks – Lucy Bailey (RWM) Slides (PDF)

01.20 pm – Close Day 3

Organising members

Professor Katherine Morris – Director of RSO and Chair (The University of Manchester)

Professor Sam Shaw – RSO academic Lead (The University of Manchester)

Professor Neil Hyatt – RSO academic lead (University of Sheffield)

Lucy Bailey – RWM RSO lead

Sabina Hawthornthwaite – RSO Project Manager

Key dates

4 August – Registration opens

15 August – Registration for conference and proposal development workshop deadline

30 August – Late registration deadline

16 – 18 September – Event


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