The aim of this paper is to identify interactions between national and multi-national geological repository programmes that are potentially either beneficial or problematic, so as to avoid any unintended negative impacts on national or multinational programmes and to maximise mutual benefits wherever possible. Regional, multi-national cooperation on geological disposal is a topical issue at present at the IAEA and also in the EU, which has produced a new proposed Directive that explicitly allows agreements on sharing. Two extended tables in the paper identify and comment briefly on historic and current positive and negative perceptions of co-existing national and multinational geological disposal programmes. It would, we believe, be a positive message to the global nuclear community to know that leading national disposal programmes are interacting constructively with regional initiatives. The extensive experience already gained in national programmes could be very beneficial to new nuclear countries. In particular, it is crucial for all nuclear programmes that the new entrants develop credible, long-term waste management programmes, whether these be national, regional or dual-track. For global safety and security reasons, the nuclear community must move towards a situation where both national and shared programmes will co-exist and interact symbiotically.

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