Shortly before the Easter weekend, our highly esteemed colleague, Dr Enrique Biurrun, passed away suddenly and unexpectedly at the age of 65.
Between 1988 and 2001, Enrique Biurrun, who was born in the Mendoza Province of Argentina, worked as a project engineer at DBE before becoming Head of the International Cooperation Department at DBE TECHNOLOGY GmbH in 2002. In his 30-year career, Dr Biurrun was involved with various international institutions working in radioactive waste disposal and was, thus, key in making our company well-respected within the community.
Only recently, Dr Biurrun was presented with the Wendell D. Weart Lifetime Achievement Award at the Waste Management Symposium (WMS) in Phoenix, AZ. For health reasons, he could not attend the Symposium in person but accepted the award via video message.
In his acceptance speech, Dr Biurrun pointed out that progress in radioactive waste storage and disposal in Germany may require a good deal of resilience, while in other European countries such as Finland, Sweden, or France, unaffected by political circumstances in Germany, licenses for the construction of final repositories have already been granted or are expected in the near future. He was proud of his personal involvement in a similar licensing process for Bulgaria. In addition, he emphasized the importance of international exchange and promoted the continuance of international collaboration. There is no better way to address the concerns and issues in this field.
In the field of radioactive waste management, the Symposium enjoys great renown around the world. It provides a platform supporting international discussions in the search for safe and sustainable solutions for the disposal of radioactive waste and the decommissioning of nuclear facilities. The award recognizes the long-term commitment of the recipient to solving major nuclear waste challenges.
With the passing of Dr Biurrun both we and the international waste management community have lost an outstanding expert and communicator, who has earned lasting respect and merit for his contributions towards the furtherance of international cooperation in the disposal of radioactive waste.