Within the framework of the International Energy Agency, an international collaborative study on fusion radioactive waste has been initiated to examine the back end of the materials cycle as an important stage in maximizing the environmental benefits of fusion as an energy provider.

The study addresses the management procedures for radioactive materials following the changeout of replaceable components and decommissioning of fusion facilities. We define this as "the back end" of the fusion materials cycle. It includes all the procedures necessary to manage spent radioactive materials from fusion facilities, from the removal of the components from the device to the reuse of these components through recycling/clearance, or to the disposal of the waste in geological repositories.

Fusion devices have certain characteristics that make them environmentally friendly devices; minimization of long-lived waste that could be a burden for future generations is one of these characteristics.

Recycling and clearance procedures and regulations have been recently revised, and the effects of these revisions on back-end fusion materials are examined in the paper. Finally, an integrated approach to the management of back-end fusion materials is proposed, and its application to three fusion reactor designs is discussed.