On behalf of the Board of Directors of the National Radioactive Waste Disposal Institute (NRWDI), I am pleased to present the first NRWDI Annual Report, having taken office as Chairperson of the NRWDI Board on 1 February 2017. It was not an easy task to start a new Board term with only two months left of the financial year, however, I am very proud of the achievements reached in this short period, which are reflected in this report.

The formalisation of the Board functions and establishment of Board structures were key aspects undertaken by Board. In this regard, the Board Charter was adopted, while three Board sub-committees were established, namely Audit and Risk, Social and Ethics, and Technical and Operations. 

Members of the Board were inducted by Management, who highlighted the legislative mandate, essential functions of NRWDI, the Board responsibilities and challenges faced by the Institute. 

Although the Board was only functional for two months in the 2016/17 financial year, some key oversight activities were undertaken, including: (i) approving the Institute’s Strategic Plan 2017/18–2019/20, as well as the Annual Performance Plan for 2017/18; (ii) completing the roadmap for the Vaalputs functional shift; (iii) developing user requirement specifications (URS) for the National Radioactive Waste Inventory Database (NRWID); (iv) considering a centralised interim storage facility (CISF) for the safe storage of high radioactive level waste; (v) initiating the process with the Auditor-General of South Africa (AGSA) of auditing the Institute’s Financial Statements for the last three financial years; and (vi) relocating of the Institute’s offices from Midrand to the South African Nuclear Energy Corporation (Necsa) campus at Pelindaba. 

In respect of development of the NRWID, I am proud to report that phase one of the project, which involves data-logging internally, has been completed. The NRWDI-Necsa roadmap has been developed and agreed to, which maps out the process through which both entities will undertake the implementation of the transfer of the Vaalputs operation from Necsa to NRWDI. We have started the CISF project, which at this stage focuses on sourcing relevant information for the possible establishment and construction of an interim storage facility for spent fuel.