The well-thought out disposal of radioactive waste

Near surface disposal of short-lived low- and intermediate-level waste
Safe disposal of high-level waste in deep clay layers
Reducing radioactive waste and making it less radiotoxic: transmutation 

Mankind produces radioactive waste in many nuclear applications. We are all familiar with the production of electricity in nuclear power plants. However, hospitals and industry also produce radioactive waste.This waste continues to emit ionising radiation for decades, hundreds or even thousands of years. In order to protect humans and the environment from the potentially damaging effects of this radiation, SCK•CEN is searching for long-term management solutions for this waste.

SCK•CEN is collaborating closely with ONDRAF/NIRAS, the national institute for radioactive waste and enriched fissile materials, which is responsible for the short- and long-term management of all radioactive waste produced in Belgium.

Different types of waste

We differentiate between various types of waste depending on their radiation intensity and lifespan  as follows: low-, intermediate- and high-level waste and short- or long-lived waste.  Short-lived radioactive waste has a half-life of less than 30 years. (Detailed information about the classification of radioactive waste can be found on the ONDRAF/NIRAS website)

Each type of radioactive waste demands a specific solution. In Belgium, short-lived low- and intermediate-level waste will be stored near the surface in a specially designed installation. We are investigating whether it would be feasible and safe to bury high-level and long-lived waste deep underground.

 

More information on our Science Platform